Skip to main content

Full text of "The Royal fusiliers in the great war"

See other formats


 



(E ROYAL FUSILIERS 
N THE GREAT WAR 







^£.?ffirJ-v;"i 






. C. O'NEILL 




k 



THE ROYAL FUSILIERS 
IN THE GREAT WAR 



THE ROYAL FUSILIERS 
IN THE GREAT WAR 



BY 

H. C. O'NEILL, O.B.E. 



ILLUSTRATED 



LONDON- WILLIAM HEINEMANN 



Dedicated 

by 

HIS MAJESTY'S GRACIOUS PERMISSION 

to 

KING GEORGE V. 

Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Fusiliers 



PREFACE 

To the army the subordinate armies are the units ; to 
the sectional armies, the army corps ; to the army corps, 
the divisions ; to the divisions, the brigades ; to the 
brigades, the battalions. Only when we reach the 
battalions does the full incidence rest upon the companies 
and the individuals who compose them. It is this that 
constitutes the main difficulty of writing a regimental 
history. In a regiment a private or N. CO. is not X Y Z 
123456, but " that bandy-legged little chap who played 
the fiddle," a distinct and quite human personality. 
It is the human side of war that is uppermost. But the 
historian cannot on these grounds excuse himself from 
dealing with the military framework into which these men 
fitted. The stress falls in this, as in the more personal 
side of the war, upon detail. If regimental histories were 
all written with a perfect knowledge of detail, the history 
of the war would be made supremely easy for those who 
have to deal with operations in their larger aspect. 

But in the case of the Royal Fusiliers the historian is 
faced with the task of dealing with 235,476 men who 
fought in every theatre, except Mesopotamia, put in an 
appearance at almost every considerable battle of the war, 
and whose dead numbered 21,941. The problem of dealing 
with the history of these battalions in the space has been 
extremely difficult, and I have been reluctantly compelled 
to adopt a compromise. The complete story could not be 
told in all its detail. On the other hand, the purely military 
narrative which makes the more irresistible challenge to 
my mind might have been concentrated, but it would 
have tended to be lifeless. I have attempted to meet 
both claims by dealing with every engagement that 
seemed to deserve notice as correctly and completely as 



viii PREFACE 

possible, while singling out incidents appealing to me as 
more significant. In the final resort some loss of per- 
spective and some injustice are inevitable. But injustice 
is inevitable on any plan. In this laborious, though 
fascinating, inquiry I have been struck by nothing so 
much as the terrible disproportion and fundamental 
injustice of the awards. 

Take, for instance, the one case of the landing of the 
2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers in Gallipoli, which so far 
has not been justly appreciated. The tardy recognition 
that came to the battalion came so late that many whose 
work should have been recognised had fallen, and only 
the Victoria Cross is given posthumously. Many, of 
course, fell on the day of the landing ; but many more 
had passed away before recognition came to the survivors. 
One or two regiments were seen to fall in heroic action, and 
their story ran on every one's lips. But other men quite 
as heroic fell unmarked, frequently unnoticed, by their 
fellows, and sympathetic friends try to soothe wounded 
hearts at home by recollections which are frequently found 
to be incompatible. If I were asked to say what incident 
in the three landings in Gallipoli,] "X," " W " and " Y," 
appealed most to me, I should say with little hesitation 
it was the stand of the gallant company (" X ") of the 
Royal Fusiliers under Captain Leslie on the left of the 
" X " beach. The company dwindled to a platoon in the 
day's fighting. Leslie himself fell. But he held off the 
repeated onslaughts of the Turks, protected the landing 
of the 87th Brigade, and made possible that swift march 
to the right that secured elbow-room for the Lancashire 
landing. 

My story therefore is probably not more unjust than in 
any case it must have been. It is impossible here to set 
down all the books I have consulted. I have read all I 
knew to be published. It is also impossible to thank all 
who have helped me. Without the help of Generals 
Donald and Newenham I could not have made much 
headway, and I have received the most generous help 



PREFACE ix 

from all to whom I have appealed, from Colonel W. Hill, 
Lieut. -Colonel T. R. Mallock, and Lieut.-Colonel Malone, 
especially. As it was wholly impossible within the space 
to do full justice to the personal side of the story, a long 
appendix has been devoted to accounts of soldiers who 
actually took part in the various operations. I must 
thank those who have kindly allowed me to use their 
contributions. I have also to thank Captain Gibson, of 
the Infantry Records Office, and Mr. A. E. Dixon, of the 
Committee of Imperial Defence, for bearing with an 
ambitious and continuous series of demands. 

But, of course, the responsibility for the book is wholly 
mine, and I trust it is not altogether an unworthy tribute 
to the war record of the Royal Fusiliers. 

H. C. O'N. 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

I. Reveille ....... i 

II. First Battles— Mons to the Aisne . . 33 

III. Flanders— La Bassee, Armentieres, Ypres 51 

IV. The First Spring Campaign— Neuve Cha- 

pelle, Ypres 64 

V. The Summer Operations— Loos ... 76 

VI. The Great Adventure — Gallipoli . . 86 

VII. The Battle of the Somme. . . . 109 

VIII. The German Retreat and the Battle of 

Arras ....... 152 

IX. The Battle of Messines .... 175 

X. The Third Battle of Ypres . . .182 

XL The Battle of Cambrai .... 205 

XII. Interlude 220 

XIII. The German Offensive .... 230 

XIV. Salonika 261 

XV. East Africa 269 

XVI. The Hundred Days — First Battles . . 281 

XVII. The Hundred Days— Last Battles . . 311 

APPENDIX. 

The Roll of Honour 337 

Decorations awarded to the Royal Fusiliers . 358 



Xll 



CONTENTS 



General Officers .... 
The Battle of Le Cateau 
The Landing at Gallipoli 
Description of the Flood at Gallipoli 
"No. 8 Platoon" .... 

The Somme 

Recollections of Miraumont 

The 2oth Battalion visit the Coast 

Bourlon Wood and after 

Life in the Lines (February to March 



1918) 



PAGE 

359 

365 

367 

37i 

374 
386 

39° 

393 

401 

4°3 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



FACING 
PAGE 



King George V. . . Frontispiece. 

Major-General Sir Geoffry Barton, K.C.V.O., 

C.B., C.M.G., Colonel of the Royal Fusiliers . 10 

Corporal G. Jarratt, V.C., 8th Royal Fusiliers . 24 

Sergeant S. G. Pearse, V.C., M.M., 45TH Royal 

Fusiliers 24 

Brig.-General N. R. McMahon, D.S.O. ... 34 

Lieutenant M. J. Dease, V.C., 4TH Battalion . 38 

Major-General Sir Reginald Pinney, K.C.B. . 64 

H.M.S. Implacable with the 2nd Royal Fusiliers 

approaching " X " Beach, Gallipoli . . 86 

The 2nd Royal Fusiliers at the top of the Cliff, 

" X " Beach, Gallipoli 88 

Brig.-General H. E. B. Newenham, C.B. . . 92 

Major-General Sir W. B. Hickie, K.C.B. . . no 

Lance-Sergeant (later Lieutenant) F. W. Palmer, 

V.C., 22ND Royal Fusiliers .... 156 

Private S. F. Godley, V.C., 4TH Royal Fusiliers. 156 

Lance-Corporal C. G. Robertson, V.C., M.M., ioth 

Royal Fusiliers 198 

Sergeant Molyneux, V.C., 2nd Royal Fusiliers . 198 

Lieut. -Colonel N. B. Elliott-Cooper, V.C., D.S.O., 

M.C. 212 



XIV 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Captain R. Gee, V.C., M.P 

Captain W. N. Stone, V.C., 17TH Royal Fusiliers 
Lieutenant W. Dartnell, V.C., 25TH Royal Fusi 

LIL*I\S ••••••• 

Major-General Sir Sydney Lawford, K.C.B. 

Major-General Sir Charles Townshend, K.C.B 
D.S.O., M.P 



FACING 
PAGE 

214 
2l6 



2l6 
280 

310 



MAPS. 

Map to illustrate the Battle of the Somme . 151 

Map to illustrate the Fighting about Ypres . 204 

Sketch Map of German East Africa . . . 273 

Map to illustrate the Stages in the Fighting of 

the Hundred Days ...... 336 



THE ROYAL FUSILIERS IN 
THE GREAT WAR 

CHAPTER I 

REVEILLE 

At the outbreak of the war there were four regular and 
three special reserve battalions of Royal Fusiliers, besides 
the first four (City of London) battalions, the London 
Regiment (Territorials), who are affiliated to the regiment. 
Before the armistice forty-five battalions had been raised, 
thirty-five of which served overseas ; the Territorial 
battalions had thrown off numerous duplicates, and there 
had been formed the ioth Cadet Battalion, also a Royal 
Fusiliers unit. Omitting the last mentioned, there were 
formed in all before the armistice fifty-nine Royal 
Fusilier battalions. 

Even so summary a survey gives one pause. It is 
obvious that already more battalions have been enu- 
merated than took part in the first battle of the British 
Expeditionary Force ; and the regiment does not diminish, 
but grows, as the inquiry into its numbers and services is 
prosecuted. At the battle of the Somme there were a 
greater number of Royal Fusiliers engaged in France than 
the total allied force at Inkerman. The depot dealt with 
a body of men (153,000) exceeding the whole of the 
original Expeditionary Force, and although not all of them 
were necessarily drafted to the regiment, the total number 
of Royal Fusiliers must have exceeded the total number of 
combatants in any of the great battles of the nineteenth 
century, with the exception, perhaps, of half a dozen. 

It is a difficult matter to give the exact number of men 

F. B 



2 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

who passed through the regiment during the war.* Clearly 
the number was very considerable. Apart from the City 
of London Regiment, a rough f estimate would give about 
195,000. This may be taken, at any rate, as a first 
approximation. The 29th Londons numbered about 3,681, 
and the 30th about 2,807. ^ we a ^d these and also the 
number attributable to the 1st (c. 9,408), 2nd (c. 8,133), 
3rd (c. 9,199), and 4th (c. 7,248) Londons, we get a total 
of 235,476 men who wore the badge of the Royal Fusiliers 
during the war. It is a great number ; and, even with the 
changed regard for numbers which the war insensibly 
produced, it is impossible to think of it but as amazing. 

So great is the roll of the regiment that it may be taken 
to be the British Army, or indeed the British race, in little. 
If you seek men of leisure, you may find them here ; if 
sportsmen, here they are ; if bankers, accountants, stock- 
brokers, lawyers, men of science, administrators, poets, 
writers or 100,000 cockneys grousing in a characteristically 
hearty manner and concealing a wealth of heroism and 
kindliness under a proper protective irony — here they are. 
In fine, here is the British race in frieze and fustian. 

*p *J* *n 1* 

It will be useful to assemble the battalions in summary 
form. 



Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers during the Great 




War. 


1st. 


Regular. 


2nd. 


Regular. 


3rd. 


Regular. 


4th. 


Regular. 


5th. 


Reserve (Dover). 


6th. 


Reserve (Dover). 


7th. 


Special Reserve, France, 23/7/16. 


8th. 


Service. 


9th. 


Service. 



* The war is taken as having ended on November nth, 1918 

f This estimate is called " rough " because it is difficult to determine 

its precise accuracy. But it is given only after a very careful survey 

with the help of the Records Office. 



NUMBER OF BATTALIONS 3 

10th. (Stockbrokers.) 

10th (b) (Intelligence Corps.) 

nth. Service. 

12th. Service. 

13th. Service. 

14th. Training, later 31st Training Reserve Battalion. 

15th. Training, later 32nd Training Reserve Battalion. 

16th. Training, later 22nd Training Reserve Battalion. 

17th. (Empire.) 

18th. (1st Public Schools.) 

19th. (2nd Public Schools.) 

20th. (3rd Public Schools.) 

21st. (4th Public Schools.) 

22nd. (Kensington.) 

23rd. (1st Sportsman's.) 

24th. (2nd Sportsman's.) 

25th. (Frontiersmen.) 

26th. (Bankers.) 

27th. Training Reserve, later 103rd Training Reserve 

Battalion. 
28th. Training Reserve, later 104th Training Reserve 

Battalion. 
29th. Training Reserve, later 105th Training Reserve 

Battalion. 
30th. Training Reserve, later 106th Training Reserve 

Battalion, then 459th Infantry Battalion, then 

51st Young Soldiers' Battalion. 
31st. Training Reserve, later 107th Training Reserve 

Battalion, then 265th Infantry Battalion, then 

52nd Young Soldiers' Battalion. 

32nd. Service (East Ham). 

33rd. Labour. 

34th. Labour. 

35th. Labour. 

36th. Labour. 

37th. Labour. 

38th. (Jewish.) 

39th. (Jewish.) 

40 th. (Jewish.) 

41st. (Jewish) Training Reserve. 

B 2 



ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 



42nd. (Jewish) Training Reserve. 

43rd. Garrison, raised in France, 25/9/15. 

44th. Garrison, raised in France, 25/9/15. 

45th. North Russian Relief Force, Park Royal, 8/4/19. 

46th. North Russian Relief Force, Park Royal, 8/4/19. 

47th. New Garrison, raised Hounslow, 14/5/19. 

City of London Battalions. 

1st Londons* . 3 overseas battalions and 1 reserve. 
3 overseas battalions and 1 reserve. 
3 overseas battalions and 1 reserve. 
3 overseas battalions and 1 reserve. 
[ Home service battalions of low category 
men, many of whom had been over- 
( seas and disabled. 
* * * * 

The brigades and divisions in which the Royal Fusilier 

battalions spent the greatest part of their service overseas 

may be seen at a glance from the following table : — 

1st Battalion . ) ., _, . , 

17th Brigade 



2nd Londons 
3rd Londons 
4th Londons 

29th Londons 
30th Londons 



12th 
2nd Battalion 
3rd Battalion 
4th Battalion 
7th Battalion 
8th Battalion 
9th 

10th Battalion 
13th 



I 



86th Brigade 

85 th Brigade 

9th Brigade 

190th Brigade 

36th Brigade 
1 nth Brigade 



54th Brigade 
19th Brigade 
99th Brigade 
99th 

5th 

5th 



24th Division. 

29th Division. 

28th Division. 

3rd Division. 

63rd Division. 

12th Division. 

' 37th Division. 
(34th Division, July 
and August, 1916.) 
18th Division. 
33rd Division. 



2nd Division. 



nth Battalion 

20th Battalion 

22nd Battalion 

23rd 

17th 

24th 

* In order to avoid confusion the Territorial battalions Royal 
Fusiliers are referred to throughout this book as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th 
Londons. The Regular and Service Battalions are referred to as " 1st 
Battalion," or " 1st Royal Fusiliers"; "2nd Battalion," "2nd Royal 
Fusiliers," etc. 



WORK OF THE DEPOT 



26th Battalion 

32nd 

1/1 London Regt. 

i/3 

i/4 

1/2 

2/1 London Regt. 

2/2 

2/3 

2/4 



124th Brigade 
123rd 

167th Brigade 
167th 
168th 
169th 



41st Division. 



56th Division. 



173rd Brigade . 58th Division. 



Some idea of their war service may be gathered from the 
table given on pp. 6 and 7, which summarises the move- 
ments of the Regular and Service battalions. The move- 
ments of the Londons do not yield as readily to tabular 
arrangement. 

SJS 3£ )|C 5(5 

For the first year of the war large numbers of recruits 
for the regiment arrived at the depot, were given a few 
hours of squad drill and, if time allowed, a little elementary 
musketry. They were then sent off in batches as soon as 
the various battalions could receive them. At times the 
nucleus of a whole battalion was despatched in one day. 
At first clothing and necessaries presented considerable 
difficulties, and in many cases recruits were sent off in 
their civilian suits. A little later a plain blue serge 
uniform and a field service cap were issued ; and, when 
the cold weather set in, civilian overcoats of various shapes 
and colours were provided. At this time there was a 
serious shortage of blankets ; but, as the result of appeals, 
a number of sympathetic civilians brought upwards of 
1,000 blankets and rugs to the barracks. Later on, when 
these were no longer required for the troops, they were 
distributed among a number of hospitals. 

In the early days the task of dealing with the large 
number of recruits devolved upon a very limited staff, 
composed for the most part of old Royal Fusiliers, either 
over military age or unfit for active service. Towards 



ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 



t/5 
OS 

U 



\M 

< 

O 

« 

M 

K 
H 

O 

w 

Z 

o 

►J 

«< 

H 

H 

<; 

m 

w 
> 

OS 

w 
C/3 

Q 
Z 

< 

OS 

< 

O 

w 

« 

w 
ac 
H 

b 
O 

H 
Z 

w 

a 

w 
> 
o 



00 I 



en 



•jsquis^dss 

•qoj-ej^ 

■jaquiaAOM 
•J3qui3;d3s 

•qoJBp\[ 

•XjBiiiref 

•jaqmaAO^ 



10 j 



S^ 






•qDJBi\[ 
•A\renui3f 

\I3qiU303Q 

•J3qo?oo 

•}sn§ny 

•sunf 

qudy 

•AuBiuqaj 

•J3qiU3D3Q 

usqopQ 
•}snSny 



•jsquisidss £ 



w 
o 
z 

<: 

OS 

Pn 



a 

W 

I 

w 

w 
Z 
< 
Q 

os 

■< 

Q 
I 

o 
z 
W 

I 

< 

Q 
Z 



M CS 



o 
z 

< 
os 



I— > 

z 
o 

►J 

< 

en 



w 
u 

z 
< 



o 
z 



w 
u 
z 

<: 
os 



w 
o 

z 
<; 
os 

h 



w 
o 
z 

< 

OS 



w 
o 
z 

<: 

OS 



u 
z 



w 
o 
z 

<: 

OS 



w 
u 
z 
< 

OS 



o 
z 

< 
os 



ro tJ- tN 00 



Ch 



m M 



ro 



H 






MOVEMENTS OF THE BATTALIONS 



7 



w 
o 

z 

« 

fa 



1 


1 


w 


w 


o 


u 


z 


z 


<: 


<j 


a! 


« 


fa 


fa 


1 


1 



w 
o 

z 

OS 



o 

z 



fa fa 



a 
o 
z 

< 

OS 

fa 



I 

w 
o 
z 

« 

fa 



w 
o 
z 

< 

fa 



H 



o 

5 

p- 

H 

1/3 
«J 

fa 



o 

z 

fa 



H 

a. 

O 
fa 



H 

O 

fa 



I 

H 

O 

W 



< 



w 
o 
z 
< 

fa 



w 


W 


CTi 


u 


u 


HH 


z 


z 


ri- 


<! 


«: 




Ki 


C4 


00" 



fa fa 



EC 

u 



o 

a 
o 

C/J 

• f-H 
)-l 

u 
a) 

a 






U 

O 
fa 



T3 
en 



0) 

o 
o 

fa 

<-M 

« 

ri 

• t— i 

w 

(/i 



o 



CO CTi m 
i-i m <N W 






O ro "*■ u-> v£> 

^ + -t ^ + 



8 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the end of 1914 twelve metropolitan policemen were lent to 
the depot, and for the months they remained at Hounslow 
they proved a very efficient help in the training of the 
recruits. Sometimes the accommodation was strained 
almost to the breaking point, when large bodies of men 
were sent to the depot at very short notice. " Labour " 
recruits from all over the country were the first to test 
the depot in this way. Later on, numbers of men for 
substitution from various units arrived at the barracks 
and stayed for some time as " the Substitution Com- 
pany." Bodies of men discharged from hospital were also 
quartered at Hounslow and put through a course of 
' hardening " before being returned to their reserve 
units. There were also agricultural companies ; and, 
towards the end of the war, several thousands of " Im- 
perial recruits," nominally British subjects, recruited in 
U.S.A. and South America, had to be accommodated 
at the barracks. It is hardly necessary to say that the 
work represented by all these activities was immense. 

The first four battalions were Regular battalions which 
served with great distinction throughout the war. Two 
of them, the 2nd and the 4th, each gained two Victoria 
Crosses. The 5th and 6th were Reserve battalions. Both 
of them mobilised at Hounslow and went to their war 
stations a few days after the declaration of war, the 5th 
under Lieut. -Colonel Vivian Henry and the 6th under 
Lieut. -Colonel R. C. Batt, M.V.O. There they formed part 
of the Dover defences and, fully equipped for the field, 
manned defensive positions. Drafts were prepared for 
the Expeditionary Force, and within a few weeks began 
to arrive in increasing numbers. The work became 
very strenuous. Instructors had to be improvised, the 
battalions at times being over 4,000 strong, with numerous 
recruits under training. Before the end of June, 1915, 
80 officers and about 3,000 men had been sent to the front 
by the 5th Battalion alone. Sent to Carrickfergus, Ireland, 
at the end of 1917, the 6th Battalion had the pleasure of 
entertaining for three days about 600 N.C.O.'s and men 



RAISING OF THE BATTALIONS 9 

of the American Expeditionary Force who had been 
rescued from the S.S. Tuscania, torpedoed off the Irish 
coast early in 1918. 

The 7th (Extra Reserve) Battalion after demobilisation 
reported daily to Finsbury Barracks for roll call, lectures, 
etc., until August 8th, when it entrained, 18 officers and 
750 other ranks strong, for Falmouth. Before leaving 
London 100 men, under the command of Major the Hon. 
A. C. S. Chichester,* had marched to the Guildhall and 
handed over the battalion colours to the Lord Mayor for 
safe custody. 

The battalion, at first commanded by Lieut. -Colonel 
Cockerill f and later by Lieut. -Colonel R. S. I. Hesketh, 
became a draft-finding unit and, like the 5th and 6th 
Battalions, sent out periodic reinforcements to the Fusilier 
battalions overseas. This continued until July, 1916, 
when the 7th mobilised for service in France, becoming 
part of the 190th Brigade of the 63rd (Naval) Division. 

Some of the battalions formed during the war were the 
direct product of the units already existing. The 8th and 
9th, both sendee battalions, began in this way. A draft 
of one officer (Lieutenant T. G. Cope) and 100 O.R. left 
the depot on August 15th for Colchester in company with 
a similar draft under Lieutenant D. E. Estill to form the 
8th and 9th Battalions respectively. The 8th was 
reinforced by a draft of at least 500 from the 5th Battalion, 
and on August 21st Lieut. -Colonel A. C. Annesley arrived 
to take over command. This battalion secured two 
Victoria Crosses during the war. Lieut. -Colonel J. C. 
Robertson was the first CO. of the 9th, and both batta- 
lions, after a period of strenuous training at Colchester and 
Aldershot, left for France at the end of May, 1915. 

The 10th (" Stockbrokers' ") Battalion was raised at the 
direct suggestion of Sir Henry Rawlinson, then Director 
of Recruiting, by Major the Hon. R. White. In a letter 

* Later transferred to the Irish Guards. 

f Transferred to War Office on August 4th. He became Director 
of Special Intelligence. 



io ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

to the latter at the Travellers' Club Sir Henry stated his 
belief that there were " many City employes who would 
be willing to enlist if they were assured that they would 
serve with their friends." Major White was asked to 
collect the names and addresses of those who would be 
willing to serve in the service battalion of the Royal 
Fusiliers. The battalion, which would be composed 
entirely of City employes, would be sent abroad as soon 
as it had attained a sufficient standard of efficiency. The 
letter was dated August 12th. Recruiting began on the 
21st, when 210 men presented themselves. The following 
day the battalion was 425 strong ; it was 900 on the 24th, 
1,300 on the 25th and 1,600 on the 27th. The numbers 
speak for themselves ; but they represent the result of a 
careful selection among the eager flock who presented 
themselves. Parading in all sorts of clothing, from silk 
hats and morning coats to caps and Norfolk jackets, the 
battalion was inspected on the 29th by Lord Roberts in 
Temple Gardens, and marched thence to the Tower Ditch, 
where they were sworn in by the Lord Mayor, Sir W. Van- 
sittart Bowater, who afterwards became Honorary Colonel. 
The battalion proceeded to Colchester to begin training, 
their first CO. being Lieut. -Colonel Hawker, D.S.O., who 
was succeeded in November by Lieut. -Colonel the Hon. 
R. Wbite. In July, 1915, they went to France, where 
they won many decorations, including a V.C. (Lance- 
Corporal Robertson) and suffered 2,647 casualties. 

There was a twin to this battalion, differing wholly in 
characteristics from it. How it was raised cannot be told 
in a few words. Its description was " 10th Battalion 
Royal Fusiliers or Intelligence B," abbreviated I (b). 
It seems, like Topsy, to have just " growed." The first 
nucleus was provided by a small body of men from 
Scotland Yard especially selected for their knowledge of 
French and German. It performed mysterious and 
wonderful things, such as forming the buffer state between 
a colonel and a babel of tongues. This representative 
of I (b), a professor of languages, had to explain any lapses 




Major-General Sir Geoffry Barton, K.C.V.O., C.B., C.M.G., 
Colonel of the Royal Fusiliers. 



THE INTELLIGENCE BATTALION n 

from discipline to the colonel, and any punishments 
inflicted on behalf of discipline to the recruits who were 
possessed of the gift of tongues. The latter appears to 
have been the more wearing task, though only by a shade. 
In France their work consisted in the detection of German 
agents. Working generally in civilian clothes, the small 
nucleus expanded into a numerous body of officers and 
men, recruited for their knowledge of languages, from 
various units. In civil life these men represented the 
oddest mixture of classes. There were some of those 
mere idlers who pick up a variety of languages from their 
penchant for travel. One was a travelling showman of 
Russian bears, who piloted performing bears from the 
extreme north to the southernmost point of Europe. 
Another was an Anglo-Armenian sergeant, born in France 
and educated in Czecho-Slovakia and Italy. Another 
was a strange cross of Aberdeen and Naples. 

This aggregation of strange types was at length placed 
for administrative purposes in one unit, the ioth (b) Royal 
Fusiliers. Beginning in France, where their counter- 
espionage work did much to make our intelligence work 
almost invariably superior to that of the enemy, I (b) 
gradually spread to Italy, Salonika, the East, and, finally, 
to Russia. 

The nth Battalion is an example of the meaning of 
personality. Recruited at Mill Hill as a battalion of the 
Middlesex Regiment, they were received at Colchester by 
Colonel the Hon. R. White (of the ioth), who asked them 
if they would care to be a sister battalion to his own. 
This was agreed to unanimously. At this time the 
battalion was simply a body of enthusiastic recruits from 
Manchester and Notting Hill ; and they slept their first 
night at Colchester under hedges. During the next week 
officers began to arrive. Major Taylor was the first 
officer in charge of the battalion ; but Lieut. -Colonel C. C. 
Carr was their first commander. The ioth battalion, 
which had given the name to the nth, was transferred to 
the nth Brigade ; and the nth battalion was left to 



12 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

represent the Royal Fusiliers in the brigade. The nth 
battalion had the good fortune to find in Mr. S. C. Turner, 
a City business man, an ideal godfather. It has been 
very difficult to trace some of the war battalions of the 
Royal Fusiliers. They have disappeared with a com- 
pleteness hardly credible in so short a time. But in 
Mr. Turner the nth Battalion lives on its individual life. 
During the war he took charge of every effort for the 
amelioration of the men's conditions, and saw to their 
relatives. He invented an ingenious contrivance for 
drying the men's socks — a very pressing need — and 
devised a special paper currency for the use of the battalion 
in France. These " Fusilier " francs and centimes were 
accepted, not only in the canteens, but by the French 
people in billeting areas ; and, issued at first in exchange 
for the men's money, were soon used, at the request of 
the men, for their pay. The difficulties of small change 
were thus overcome as easily as ingeniously. Between 
5,000 and 6,000 men went through this one battalion in 
the 54th Brigade, with whom they went out to France in 
July, 1915. 

The 12th Battalion was collected at Hounslow and 
taken down to Shoreham. It was apparently formed in 
pursuance of Lord Kitchener's policy announced by 
Sir Henry Rawlinson to Major the Hon. R. White— the 
desire to extend the scope of the Royal Fusiliers by adding 
further units to the regiment. About September 25th, 
1914, Colonel C. J. Stanton arrived to take command, 
and the battalion went to France on September 1st, 1915. 
During the first day of the battle of Loos Colonel Stanton 
was called to Divisional Headquarters to take over the 
work of Brigadier-General, and he handed over command 
to Lieut.-Colonel Garnons- Williams, the second in com- 
mand, who was mortally wounded the same day. Thus, 
at one stroke, the higher direction of the battalion, in 
whom all had learned to trust, was wiped out. Fortu- 
nately in Major Compton the unit found a worthy 
successor to these distinguished soldiers. 



TRAINING BATTALIONS 13 

The 13th Battalion was formed in much the same way 
as the 12th. It was assembled in October, 1914, the 
first CO. being Colonel F. P. Hutchinson. After a period 
of training the battalion left for France in July, 1915, 
where it performed distinguished service. Colonel Des 
Vceux took the unit to France, and remained in command 
until August, 1916, when he was evacuated sick. 

In the " Army List," at the end of 1914, the 14th appears 
as a service battalion, as do also the 15th and 16th. But 
these were all training reserve battalions. The nucleus 
of the two latter was furnished by the 6th (Reserve) 
Battalion, like which they performed the most necessary 
and important role of training drafts for the front. The 
battalions were first commanded by Lieut. -Colonel C. R. 
Hely-Hutchinson, Colonel S. G. Bird, D.S.O., and Lieut.- 
Colonel G. R. Lascelles, respectively. The staffs of these 
units consisted chiefly of N.C.O.'s of the Royal Fusiliers, 
and the work of training went on so smoothly that rein- 
forcements were sent out at regular intervals. The 16th 
Battalion despatched drafts every nine weeks. 

The 17th (Empire) Battalion was raised by a body of 
gentlemen styled " The British Empire Committee." The 
motive which drew them together in August, 1914, was 
the desire to assist in the raising of troops ; and their first 
intention was to raise a cavalry regiment on the lines of 
the Imperial Light Horse. After various communications 
with the military authorities it was found that cavalry 
were not desired, but the Committee were authorised on 
August 30th, 1914, to raise a battalion of infantry to be 
designated the Empire Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. It 
was subsequently numbered " the 17th (Service) Battalion, 
Royal Fusiliers (Empire)." The battalion was raised 
within ten days, and it went into camp at Warlingham 
on September 12th. This successful result says much for 
the energy of the Committee, under the chairmanship of 
General Sir Bindon Blood, G.C.B., who, at the request 
of the battalion, became their honorary colonel. The 
Committee also included Mr. Herbert Nield, K.C., M.P., 



14 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

and Major-General Lionel Herbert, C.B., who became 
secretary early in 1915, and very largely contributed 
to the successful completion of the task. The same 
gentlemen later raised, at the request of the War Office, 
two brigades of Field Artillery, a Field Company R.E., 
and a Divisional Signal Company R.E. They clothed, 
equipped and hutted the battalion, whose first commanding 
officer was Major G. Harland Bowden, M.P. The men 
never forgot the welcome they received at Warlingham, 
and " Warlingham Crater," near Givenchy, perpetuated 
their connection with the pleasant Surrey village. Their 
war service secured many distinctions, including a 
Victoria Cross for an action which stands out even among 
heroic deeds. 

British Public Schools and Universities yielded the 
material for the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Battalions. The 
origin of these four battalions is fortunately clear. On 
August 26th, 1914, there appeared in The Times a letter 
over the signature " Eight Unattached," calhng upon all 
Public School men of similar age and qualifications {i.e., 
marksmen at Bisley between the years 1898 and 1903) 
to discuss the formation of a " Legion of Marksmen" at 
59a, Brook Street, W., between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., on 
August 27th. On proceeding to the rendezvous some of 
the " Eight Unattached " informed inquirers that they 
had that day joined the 10th City of London Regiment ; 
but that, if any of those who had come wished to carry on, 
the manager of Claridge's had kindly placed a room at 
their disposal. Mr. J. P. Thompson, a young man of 
fifty-three, who had spent fifteen years ranching in Texas, 
decided to see if anything could be done, and with about 
forty others took advantage of the offer of the manager of 
Claridge's. A meeting was held at which he was elected 
chairman and Mr. H. J. Boon secretary. After some dis- 
cussion it was decided to offer to form a brigade 5,000 
strong of old Public School and University men. Offices 
were taken at 66, Victoria Street, and Dr. Hele-Shaw and 
Mr. S. M. Gluckstein were added to the first committee. 



PUBLIC SCHOOL BATTALIONS 15 

The War Office soon recognised the usefulness of their 
efforts and the plan was launched. 

Mr. Thompson * resigned from the chairmanship, fearing 
that it would preclude his going to France ; and Mr. H.J. 
Boon became chairman in his place. Recruiting offices 
were opened throughout the country, and the Public 
Schools and Universities Force (" U.P.S.") came into being. 
Within eleven days over 5,000 men had been recruited. 
In the early days Sir Francis Lloyd inspected the London 
contingent, some 2,000 strong, in Hyde Park, and remarked, 
" The finest body of men I have ever seen." They were 
fine men, a great number of them very young, but a 
sprinkling between thirty and forty years of age. The 
18th and 19th and half of the 20th Battalion went to 
Epsom on September 18th, the other half of the 20th to 
Leatherhead, and the 21st to Ashstead. 

They were all enormously keen on their drill, and settled 
down to their work in grim earnest. On October nth the 
first rifles were issued, 200 to each battalion, and the 
command was as follows : — 

Brig.-General R. Gordon Gilmour, C.B., C.V.O., 
D.S.O. 

Major H. E. Raymond. 

Captain R. Hermon-Hodge, M.V.O. 

18th Battalion : Colonel Lord Henry Scott. 

19th Battalion : Lieut. -Colonel W. Gordon. 

20th Battalion : Lieut. -Colonel C. H. Bennett, D.S.O. 

21st Battalion : Lieut. -Colonel J. Stuart- Wortley. 

The controversy on the supply of commissions came to a 
head early in 1915, on a suggestion that the " U.P.S." 
should provide an obvious reservoir. It was suggested in 
the Press that the men were being prevented taking com- 

* Mr. Thompson became a private in the 18th Battalion ; but, under 
the well-established fear that it would become merely an officers' 
training unit, offered himself to the A.S.C., by whom he was accepted 
after manipulating his age. He became Captain in January, 1915, 
and served in France from September, 1915, to March, 1918. 



16 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

missions. How untrue this was may best be appreciated 
from a stanza appearing in The Pow-Wow, the brigade 
magazine : — 

" Eight little P.S.U.'s feeling fit for heaven, 
One joined the Flying Corps, and then there were seven ; 
Six little P.S.U.'s tired of being alive, 
One applied for Sandhurst, and then there were five ; 
Five little P.S.U.'s found the ranks a bore, 
The worst got gazetted, and then there were four." 

And on April 15th a letter, signed by the committee of 
the brigade, stated that when the new demand for officers 
had been satisfied no fewer than "3,083 men will have 
been taken altogether " for that purpose. 

How the brigade coped with such a drain is impossible to 
say. In some way they kept their corporate spirit and 
looked forward eagerly to going out. It was this sort of 
impatience that inspired the quatrain in The Pow-Wow, — 

" Some to the Pyramids have raised their Eyes, 
Others declare that France shall be our Prize ; 
Some speak of Aldershot — This much is Truth, 
We are at Woodcote — and — the Rest is Lies." 

A very delightful cartoon of " Our Lady of Rumours " 
emphasised the point by suggesting such places as Spain (!), 
Sahara, Timbuctoo and China.* 

At length the brigade went out and learned its paces 
where a very great number of battalions first took lessons 
in trench warfare : in the area about the La Bassee Canal. 
There were at least seven battalions of Royal Fusiliers in 
this area simultaneously : the four Public School Battalions, 
the 8th, 17th and 24th. They went out to France in 
November, 1915, and after a short acquaintance with 
trench warfare, the demand for officers still continuing, 
the 18th, 19th and 21st Battalions were disbanded in 
April, 1916, the bulk of the men going to various cadet 

* Cf. " The History of the Royal Fusiliers ' U.P.S.' (University and 
Public Schools) Brigade (Formation and Training)," published by 
The Times. 



A FOKKER CAPTURED 17 

schools, and the remainder as drafts to other Royal 
Fusilier battalions. 

Before disappearing as a unit, however, the 18 th had 
the good fortune to capture a big Fokker behind the lines 
on April 10th, 1916. They came on the scene when a 
private of the Royal Engineers was attempting to convey 
his delight at meeting a presumed French airman who was 
trying to restart his machine. The German, finding his 
hand warmly gripped, tried to look the part ; but the 
1 8th Royal Fusiliers instantly recognised the machine, 
with its Iron Cross, for what it was. They doubled, 
unslung their rifles, and, thinking the German was trying 
to pass papers to the other man, opened fire. But their 
zeal outstripped their performance. The sapper, now 
thoroughly bewildered, took to his heels; and the 18th 
took over the machine and the pilot. The 20th Battalion 
continued in being, and did good service, until February, 
1918, when they too were disbanded. 

The 22nd (Kensington) Battalion was raised by the 
Mayor of Kensington, then Alderman William H. Davison. 
C and D Companies were directly enlisted for service in 
this battalion ; but A and B Companies were formed as 
King Edward's Horse, and joined C and D at the White 
City in September, 1914, to form the 22nd (Service) 
Battalion Royal Fusiliers. The battalion combined a 
very good type of Londoner and a very good type of 
colonial, and the two amalgamated very successfully. 
They trained at the White City, Roffey (Horsham), 
Clipstone Camp, and Tidworth, sailing for France on 
November 15th, 1915. Two depot companies were 
formed to keep the unit up to strength ; and these, with 
the two depot companies of the 17th Battalion, formed the 
27th Reserve Battalion. The 22nd were disbanded in 
February, 1918, being chosen by lot from the 99th Brigade 
when it was decided to reduce the number of battalions 
in the brigades. By that time the 22nd had earned for 
themselves a name for courageous and skilful fighting. 
Sergeant Palmer gained the Victoria Cross and a com- 



18 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

mission for an act which not only called for pronounced 
personal bravery, but also for no little foresight and 
skill. 

By a strange turn of fortune it devolved upon General 
R. Barnett Barker, the former and best-beloved command- 
ing officer of the battalion, to disband them. He had left 
the battalion in November, 1917, to take command of the 
3rd Infantry Brigade, and he succeeded General Kellett 
in command of the 99th Brigade in January, 1918. He 
sent them a farewell message which deserves a permanent 
record : — 

" In bidding farewell to the 22nd Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers (Kensington)," he wrote, " I am sure that I voice 
the feelings of all ranks of the 99th Brigade in expressing 
our deep regret that we have to part with such comrades. 

" Since November, 1915, under the able leadership of 
our beloved and gallant brigadier, Brig. -General R. O. 
Kellett, C.B., C.M.G., we have fought together in the 
following actions : — Delville Wood, Vimy Ridge, Ancre, 
Miraumont, Grevillers Trench, Oppy, and Cambrai, in 
every one of which the 22nd Royal Fusiliers played a 
conspicuous part. The mention of these important 
actions, in which we have added fame to the 2nd Division, 
is sufficient to prove the magnificent part you have filled 
in making the history of the 99th Brigade. 

" We all understand with what feelings you must view 
the disbanding of your fine battalion. We know full well 
your splendid esprit de corps, which engendered your fine 
fighting spirit. We know of the N.C.O.'s and men still 
with you who gave up their all in 1914 to join you. Nor 
do we forget your many heroes who died for you and us all. 

" Knowing full well all this, we can truly offer you our 
heartfelt sympathies in your day of trial. 

" The 22nd Battalion never lost a yard of trench or 
failed their comrades in the day of battle. Such is your 
record, and such a record of you will be handed down to 
posterity. 

" All of you, I am thankful to say, will remain in our 
famous division, and 300 of you in the old brigade. 



GENERAL BARNETT BARKER 19 

" I know that the 22nd Royal Fusiliers will accept the 
inevitable in their usual fine spirit, and will in time transfer 
the esprit de corps they always prized so dearly to their 
sister battalions. 

" I feel certain their sister battalions will welcome them 
with open arms and endeavour to heal the sores they now 
so intensely feel. 

" As one who served with you from the day of your 
foundation to your disbandment (except for two months) , 
I know full well what this step means to you all. 

" I also know that, though the 22nd Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers has ceased to exist as a unit, you will not forget 
that we are all Englishmen fighting Germans, and that 
the fine, indomitable spirit of the battalion will still carry 
you on until the one red and two white stars are inscribed 
on the forts of the Rhine." 

The 23rd and 24th were the Sportsman's Battalions, 
which owed their origin to Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen,* daughter 
of the late Sir Philip Cunliffe-Owen, K.C.B., and wife of 
the late Edward Cunliffe-Owen, C.M.G. 

The idea arose quite spontaneously. Mrs. Cunliffe- 
Owen, on rallying some men-friends for not being in khaki, 
was challenged to raise a battalion of middle and upper 
class men up to the age of forty-five. She promptly went 
with them to a post-office and telegraphed to Lord 
Kitchener, " Will you accept complete battalion of upper 
and middle class men, physically fit, able to shoot and 
ride, up to the age of forty-five ? " The reply was, 
" Lord Kitchener gratefully accepts complete battalion." 
The India Room, Hotel Cecil, was taken for a month, 
a dozen ex-officers were begged from the Officers' Associa- 
tion, and the enrolment began. Each applicant, in the 
presence of one of these ex-officers, filled in a form stating 
his chest measurement, height, weight, nationality, and 
whether he could shoot and ride and walked well. The 
form was then taken to a screened-off part of the room, 
where Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen signed it. The men were then 

* Now Mrs. Cunliffe Stamford. 

c 2 



20 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

sent to a recruiting office to be medically examined and 
attested. 

The first battalion was complete in four weeks, and 
Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen hustled a contractor into putting up 
a fully equipped and model camp in nineteen days. These 
were astounding achievements. Most other battalions 
raised outside the War Office regime called upon more or less 
elaborate organisations. Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen formed her 
own organisation, looked into everything — even the menu — 
and pushed the scheme through to a triumphant success. 

The 23rd Royal Fusiliers, in uniform with full band, 
marched through the streets of London to entrain at 
Liverpool Street Station for Hornchurch, Essex, after 
being inspected in Hyde Park by Colonel Maitland. On 
March 17th, 1915, the 24th Royal Fusiliers (2nd Sports- 
man's) were inspected on the Horse Guards' parade 
ground by Brig.-General Kellett, who, after thanking Mrs. 
Cunliffe-Owen in the name of the King and the nation for 
raising two such fine battalions and congratulating her 
on being the only woman in the world to have achieved 
such a feat, requested her to take the salute. The recruits 
for these battalions were a fine body of men, and were 
drawn from all parts of the world. " A man who had 
gone up the Yukon with Frank Slavin, the boxer ; another 
who had been sealing round Alaska ; trappers from the 
Canadian woods ; railway engineers from the Argentine ; 
planters from Ceylon : big-game hunters from Central 
Africa ; others from China, Japan, the Malay States, 
India, Egypt — these were just a few . . ." * of those 
who presented themselves at the Hotel Cecil in the autumn 
of 1914. 

The connection of the 23rd and 24th with London was 
very intimate. They did physical jerks in Savoy Street, 
and were put through their early paces in the very heart 
of London. The men were all big fellows, the average 
height being over 6 feet, and they took to their work 

* The lyd Service Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (First Sportsman's), 
by Fred W. Ward, p. 26. 



THE SPORTSMAN'S BATTALIONS 21 

gaily. Both battalions formed part of the 99th Brigade 
of the 33rd Division at first ; but almost immediately 
after their arrival in France on November 17th, 1915, 
the 24th Battalion was placed in the 5th Brigade. At 
the same time the brigade lost the 17th Battalion. These 
changes were carried out in accordance with the reorganisa- 
tion of the 2nd and 33rd Divisions into brigades, each 
consisting of two new and two regular battalions. From 
first to last 4,987 officers and men served overseas in the 
23rd Battalion, and their casualty list came to a total 
of 3,241. 

Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen had supplied 1,500 fully trained 
officers to the army by April, 1915, and when she formally 
handed over the two battalions to the War Office on July 
31st, 1915, she did not cease to follow their fortunes. 
She wrote to every sick and wounded man, and visited 
most of them in hospital. She, furthermore, raised the 
nucleus of the 30th Royal Fusiliers as a training reserve 
battalion, and put up the Eagle Hut in the Strand as 
extra recruiting offices for them. F. C. Selous was one 
of the 24th 's most eminent recruits. He was already an 
old man, but he enlisted as a private. Another distin- 
guished recruit was Warneford, who, after four months' 
service in the battalion, joined the Royal Air Force, and 
gained the Victoria Cross for first bringing down a Zeppelin. 
When the 23rd Battalion was demobilised, Mrs. Cunliffe- 
Owen was presented with one of the original drums as a 
souvenir. 

To many it will seem that the field from which the 25th 
(Service) Battalion was chosen resembled that which pro- 
vided the Sportsman's Battalion ; and, indeed, there was 
a distinct similarity. But the Frontiersmen who formed 
the 25th were already an existing organisation. Numbers 
of the Legion passed through London soon after the out- 
break of the war and found a home in various units. 

But on February 12th, 1915, Colonel Driscoll, who led 
" Driscoll's Scouts " in the South African War, was 
informed that approval had been given for the raising of 



22 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

" an infantry battalion 1,000 strong, to be called the 25th 
(Sendee) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen)." It 
was stated later that the battalion was to be used to stiffen 
troops in East Africa, then invaded by German troops. 
Within three weeks of the subsequent appeal, the unit had 
raised more than the required strength. About a third of 
the men were members of the Legion ; and the battalion 
included men of various ages and with strange experience 
from all quarters of the globe. Among them were F. C. 
Selous, the famous big-game hunter, explorer and natura- 
list, who had been a private in the 24th, Cherry Kearton, 
Martin Ryan and George Outram. On April 10th the 
battalion — accepted and sent on active service without 
preliminary training, the only unit so treated during the 
war — embarked 1,166 strong at Plymouth. They had 
travelled nearly 6,000 miles vid Aden before they reached 
Mombasa, on May 4th. Fighting in East Africa involved 
the overcoming of two enemies, nature and the Germans ; 
and so terrible did the first prove, even to such hardened 
and splendid adventurers, that by Christmas, 1916, only 
60 of the original unit remained in the field, and a draft of 
600 were sent out. The 25th certainly left a name in East 
Africa and secured a V.C. (Lieutenant W. Dartnell). 
But this is a trite summary of a campaign that proved a 
heavier strain on endurance than any other. 

The 26th (Service) Battalion the Royal Fusiliers 
(Bankers) was raised early in 1915 from bank clerks and 
accountants by Major William Pitt, an old Volunteer 
officer ; and it had Sir Charles Johnston and Sir Charles 
Wakefield, two Lord Mayors of London, as honorary 
colonels. Drawn from all parts of the country, the men 
carried through the first part of their training at Marlow 
and High Beech ; and, made up to full strength in 
November, the battalion moved to Aldershot, becoming 
part of the 124th Brigade of the 41st Division, com- 
manded by Sir Sydney Lawford. Under command of 
Lieut. -Colonel the Hon. W. F. North they embarked for 
France on May 4th. 



SERVICE IN RUSSIA 23 

The 26th was one of the two Fusilier battalions to see 
service in Italy ; but they were brought back to France 
early in 1918 in time for the German March offensive. 

In order to retain even the battalions enumerated at full 
strength a number of special training reserve units were 
formed, the 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st, being raised 
and used for this purpose. 

The 29th and 30th Battalions, who sent a specially 
picked Volunteer Company to Russia in June, 1918, were 
battalions of the London Regiment, formed of low category 
men and men who had been disabled overseas. This was 
apparently the first formed British infantry unit to serve 
in Russia since the Crimea. The company took part in 
most of the operations at Murmansk, and in July — 
August went to Archangel. From the landing up to the 
capture of Oboyerskia they remained in the Archangel 
area and returned to Murmansk on relief by American 
infantry. Two other battalions also served in Russia, the 
45th and 46th, and the former won two V.C.'s. Each of 
these was awarded long after the war proper had ended.* 
But the exploits are worthy of record here. 

The first was awarded to Corporal Arthur Percy Sullivan 
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 
August 10th, 1919, at the Sheika River, North Russia. 

The platoon to which he belonged, after fighting a rear- 
guard covering action, had to cross the river by means of 
a narrow plank, and during the passage an officer and 
three men fell into a deep swamp. 

Without hesitation, under intense fire, Corporal Sullivan 
jumped into the river and rescued all four, bringing them 
out singly. But for this gallant action his comrades 
would undoubtedly have been drowned. It was a 
splendid example of heroism as all ranks were on the point 
of exhaustion and the enemy less than 100 yards distant. 

And the second to Sergeant Samuel George Pearse, M.M. 

For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and 
self-sacrifice during the operation against the enemy 

* See note, p. 2. 



24 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

battery position north of Emtsa (North Russia) on 
August 29th, 1919. 

Sergeant Pearse cut his way through the enemy barbed 
wire under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, and 
cleared a way for the troops to enter the battery position. 

Seeing that a blockhouse was harassing our advance 
and causing us casualties, he charged the blockhouse 
single-handed, killing the occupants with bombs. 

This gallant non-commissioned officer met his death a 
minute later, and it was due to him that the position was 
carried with so few casualties. 

His magnificent bravery and utter disregard for per- 
sonal danger won for him the admiration of all troops. 

There were still other battalions who served in the 
operations which are more strictly comprised under the 
title The Great War. The Mayor of East Ham had raised 
three or four brigades of artillery when he formed the 
impression that an infantry battalion could also be formed. 
After consultation with Major F. Cannon, the recruiting 
officer at East Ham and Barking, he wrote to the War Office 
early in October, 1915, and approval was given, subject 
to the proviso that if 600 men were not raised before 
Christmas the approval would be withdrawn. Major 
Cannon took up the recruiting, and in the first three weeks 
secured only one recruit, a typist, who was employed in 
the office. A few more offered themselves early in Novem- 
ber, and at the end of the month the total sprang to 500. 
Only one N.C.O., C.Q.M.S. Childs, afterwards killed in 
action while serving with the 10th Queen's, was available 
to pay, billet and look after the new recruits. Major 
Cannon was placed in command, and the other units of the 
regiment supplied officers. At Christmas the battalion 
(the 32nd) was ordered to Aldershot and remained there 
until May 5th, when it embarked for France under the 
command of Lieut. -Colonel Key, of the Yorks and Lanes. 
Regiment, who had lately returned from Gallipoli. The 
men were quick to learn and, though the officers were 
drawn from various units, the battalion worked well 




o ^ 

ST. » 



IN 






PS 

U3 ^ 



5 fc-o 



CO 



fH 


<n 


£ 


PS 


<1 


- 


w 


- 







BS 


</; 


w 


ID 


m 


- 



S£< 



■red 




in 


Tl 


PS 


U 


M 


m 






J 


>. 


t— t 


rrl 


Ul 




D ^ 


fe 


c 


J 


o 


<; 


en 


1* 


<v 


O 


> 


Pi 


o 


a 


M— i 


H 


l-l 


on 


ctJ 1 




<D h 


H 


C C 


H 




3^ 


OS 




PS 


> 


< 


O 




,d 










LJ 










o 


«i 


c 


Pi 


rt 


O 


tin 


- 




PS 


O 


o 


,£ 


O 


£ 



a> 



LABOUR UNITS 25 

together, and with the 26th did good service in the 
war. 

An honourable group of units was formed as Labour 
battalions. Among these were the 34th, 35th, 36th and 
37th Battalions, which were raised in the spring of 1916 at 
Falmer, near Lewes, and left for France in June. Colonel 
N. A. K. Burne was in command of the 35th, Colonel G. E. 
Even, C.B., of the 36th, and Colonel Savage of the 37th. 
The battalions served in various parts of the country, 
unloading ships, making roads, or constructing ammunition 
dumps. While working on a ship at Rouen in the morning 
of January 28th, 1917, Private Noble slipped on the gang- 
way and fell into the Seine. It was bitterly cold and the 
Seine was crowded with boulders of drift ice. In spite of 
this Private Robert Barker, of the 35th Labour Battalion, 
finding that Noble could not swim, jumped into the river 
and supported him until both could be pulled out. He was 
awarded the Royal Humane Society's Testimonial on 
Vellum for this brave action. 

But for the most part the work of the Labour battalions 
did not offer the opportunity of spectacular actions. The 
men worked steadily and well. The work was heavy, and 
for some time the 35th worked in shifts, by night as well 
as day, unloading heavy gun ammunition from ships at 
Rouen. In May, 1917, the Labour battalions were broken 
up and formed into Labour companies of 500 each, the 
35th becoming the 103rd and 104th Infantry Labour 
Companies ; the 36th, the 105th and 106th Labour 
Companies ; the 37th, the 107th and 108th Companies. 
Sergeant Lyles, of the 36th, was among those who, at the 
end of the war, received a decoration, being awarded the 
M.S.M. 

Another group of battalions was composed of Jewish 
recruits. When the idea was first mooted in the autumn 
of 1915 by Mr. Joseph Cowen and Dr. Eder, it met with 
no sympathy at the War Office. But in April, 1915, the 
Zion Mule Corps was formed in Alexandria, Egypt, by 
some 500 or 600 Palestinian refugees and local Jews. It 



26 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

was commanded by Lieut. -Colonel J. H. Patterson, D.S.O., 
and did good service in Gallipoli, but was disbanded in 
the summer of 1916. About 100 of its members re-en- 
listed in the British Army, were brought to London and 
posted to the 20th London (Territorials). They after- 
wards formed the nucleus of Jewish N.C.O.'s and 
instructors for the Jewish infantry battalions. 

In the meantime the old idea had sprung to life once 
more and the Government was pressed to allow the 
formation of a Jewish unit for Palestine. The movement 
was led by Mr. Vladimir Jabotinsky, and was strongly 
supported by Dr. Weizmann, the President of the Zionist 
Organisation. In April, 1917, the War Cabinet decided 
to allow the formation of the unit. In August its forma- 
tion was announced under the name of " Jewish Regiment 
of Infantry " ; but this description was subsequently 
withdrawn and the Jewish battalions became the 38th to 
42nd Royal Fusiliers, with their depot at 22, Chenies 
Street, W.C., and their camp at Plymouth. The battalions 
were chiefly intended for the reception of Russian Jews, to 
be enlisted under a special convention with M. Kerensky's 
Government. Permission to use Kosher food was granted 
with the assurance that the battalions would be employed 
on the Palestine front, and would be granted a Jewish 
name and badge if they distinguished themselves. 

About 2,000 Jews joined from England, a proportion 
of them being volunteers. Their enlistment was stopped 
after the fall of M. Kerensky's Government and the 
victory of the Bolsheviks in Russia ; but, in the beginning 
of 1918, a widespread movement of voluntary recruiting 
began in the United States and Canada. Jews in the 
Argentine were also allowed to enlist, and practically the 
whole of the able-bodied young Jews in the liberated part 
of Palestine (Judea) applied to be enlisted. These various 
sources involved large numbers ; but owing to technical 
difficulties connected with the numerous nationalities and 
difficulties of transport, only a small proportion of those 
overseas could actually be enlisted. But altogether about 



JEWISH BATTALIONS IN PALESTINE 27 

10,000 joined the Jewish battalions, of whom over three- 
quarters were volunteers; and some 5,000 actually served 
in Palestine. The recruiting campaign in the United 
States, Canada, the Argentine, and especially Palestine, 
evoked unprecedented enthusiasm, both Zionist and 
pro-British. 

The 38th Battalion, under Lieut. -Colonel J. H. Patterson, 
landed in Egypt in January, 1918, to complete their 
training, and went to the front in June, 1918. They 
reached Ludd on June 6th, and were inspected by General 
Allenby, for the second time. After a few days they 
marched off to take their share in the line and took over 
the three miles lying between Jiljilia (some three miles 
west of the Nablus road) and Abwein. They speedily 
won their spurs in the tasks of the hour — scouting, 
patrolling and trench digging — and were then given a 
most trying part of the line in the Jordan valley. The 
seven miles for which they were responsible stretched 
westward from the Jordan above Jericho, and seemed at 
times to be almost an island in a sea of enemies. On the 
west was a gap which offered a constant invitation to 
the enemy ; but the battalion ably supported the Anzac 
Mounted Division in harrying the Turks and discovering 
their plans. They also took part in Allenby's attack in 
September by capturing the ford of Umm-esh-Shert on 
the night of the 21st, and so enabling the mounted troops 
to cross the river towards Es Salt (Ramoth Gilead) and 
outflank the Turks. In this operation they were assisted 
by the 39th battalion, commanded by Lieut. -Colonel E. L. 
Margolin, a former officer of the Australian Expeditionary 
Force. The force known as Patterson's column crossed 
the Jordan and occupied the road between Tel Nimrin 
and Es Salt until the collapse of the Fourth Turkish 
Army and Second Turkish Corps, when they returned to 
Jerusalem with a large body of Turkish and German 
prisoners. They had performed distinguished service, 
and were awarded a number of distinctions. 

The 40th Battalion consisted chiefly of Palestinian 



28 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

recruits. Many Turkish Jews, who were prisoners of war 
in Egypt, asked permission to join, and 150 of them were 
accepted. They were trained at Tel-el-Kebir and were 
employed on garrison duty during the autumn and winter 
of 1918-1919. Their first commander was Lieut. -Colonel 
Scott, who was succeeded by Lieut. -Colonel F. Samuel. 

These battalions had some well-known recruits. Major 
James de Rothschild was in the 39th. Jacob Epstein was 
for some time a private in the 38th. Anton Tchaikov, 
the violinist, and now the Director of the School of Music 
at Jerusalem, was at first a private and later a sergeant 
in the 38th. Mr. V. Jabotinsky, the initiator of the 
movement, was a sergeant and later honorary lieutenant 
in the 38th ; and M. Smeliansky, the well-known Jewish 
novelist, was a corporal in the 40th, who also numbered 
among their privates Mr. Vinnik, the Chemical Director 
of the Rishon Wine Cellars, and Mr. Ben Zivi, a member 
of the Advisory Council to the High Commissioner for 
Palestine. Other names of distinguished and remarkable 
men who enlisted in these battalions might be quoted ; 
but it is obvious that the units started with a strangely 
ideal impetus and naturally cast a wide net among Jews. 
The 41st and 42nd Battalions were formed as draft- 
training units for the three battalions on active service, 
and were stationed at Plymouth. 

All these battalions performed good service. During 
the trouble in Egypt these were practically the only white 
infantry troops in Palestine. They guarded the whole 
railway line from Romani up to Ludd-Haifa-Semach. In 
the autumn of 1919 they were officially given the name 
" Judeans " with a special badge " theMenora " (the eight- 
branched candlestick, the symbol of the Maccabeans), with 
the Hebrew word " Kadima " (" Forwards and East- 
wards "). The sleeve badge Shield of David (38th, 
purple ; 39th, red ; 40th, blue) was granted in 1918. 

The Territorial battalions mobilised at the outbreak of 
war and first acted as guard to the London and South 
Western Railway main lines. On September 4th they 



THE TERRITORIALS 29 

embarked for Malta, and after a period of service there left 
for France on January 2nd, 1915. Second line battalions 
were formed when the first line battalions left England, 
and these later became the units of the 173rd Brigade of 
the 58th Division, as the first line units joined the 56th 
Division. Third line battalions were formed when the 
second line left England for Malta in December, 1914 ; 
and fourth line battalions were raised as draft-forming 
units. These battalions were telescoped towards the end 
of the war as a consequence of severe losses and the drain 
of supporting three battalions per unit, i.e., twelve batta- 
lions in all. The third lines generally became the second 
line battalions, and at least one second line battalion 
disappeared as a distinct entity. The draft-forming units 
were also turned into one. The battalions of the London 
Regiment distinguished themselves in many battles of the 
war, and, like the new service, labour and training batta- 
lions, were proud of being Royal Fusiliers. At times, it 
was said that the war was mechanical, but no one can 
study the expansion of the Royal Fusiliers without being 
more conscious of the spiritual side. It was largely the 
old leaven of a famous regiment which turned these 
strangely assorted units into splendid righting battalions 

who left their mark on the history of the war. 

* * # * * 

Such in brief outline is the field covered by this 
book. The sources are the battalion diaries, personal 
diaries of officers, special accounts of particular incidents 
contributed by soldiers actually engaged in them, a 
considerable number of letters and numerous conversations 
with officers of various battalions. 

A very interesting chapter could be made of the official 
diaries. A certain high officer drew attention to the low 
standard attained by the units of his command in this 
matter ; but the suggestions made for improvement are 
not always beyond criticism. The weather is " never " a 
necessary entry, it is stated. This is obviously unsound. 
The weather is a deciding factor in many operations ; and 



30 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

when of two battalions in the same area, one attacks and 
the other desists on account of the weather — an actual case 
of two Fusilier battalions — it becomes absolutely necessary 
to know the circumstances in detail. There is also a 
presumably sarcastic remark that the regimental historian 
will shrink from the statement that " the battalion played 
the Brigade H.Q. at baseball and beat them." On the 
contrary. When the men play their football matches 
there is a clear indication of the morale of the unit ; and 
when, as in a particular case, a battalion is stated to have 
been too tired to carry out its fixtures it is reasonably 
certain that the unit was too weary to be of much use in 
active operations. A final statement that " it is certainly 
not necessary to state when officers went on and returned 
from leave " is clearly absurd. 

It is frequently most difficult to discover who was 
actually in charge of a given operation ; and unless the 
command is stated in detail before every engagement, the 
only indication of the sort of force that went into action 
is provided by the notes about leave. 

But the actual diaries are singularly instructive. Those 
of the Regular battalions are almost invariably restrained 
and bald to an irritating degree. The new battalions, on 
the contrary, give much information, some of it naive to an 
almost incredible extent, some of it most interesting to 
the historian, all of it useful in forming a picture of the 
unit. All the mechanism of posting sentries, carrying out 
reliefs, standing-to, etc., is described by one tireless 
diarist. Everything is put down coldly and carefully, 
with machine-like detachment, until the battalion goes to 
Murrumbidgee Camp. Nothing hitherto had disturbed 
the perfection of this officer's self-possession. But there 
was something about this camp that stirred him to his 
depths ; and, in place of the usual carefully dispassionate 
description, he states that the camp is " a filthy hole with 
a debauched and frozen bath-house which battalion is 
supposed to work." 

Another diarist ventures the callow remark " One of our 



THE BATTALION DIARIES 31 

Lewis guns claimed to have hit a German who exposed 
himself." A little later we find him slaughtering whole 
units without any tentative claims. Another diarist is 
perpetually reporting the remains of dead soldiers. Either 
he was morbidly interested in this or the battalion had an 
unusually gruesome experience. There is a certain 
humour in the description of a shelling of billets which 
concludes: " One man hit on pay parade." And surely, 
as the full description of an early spring day, the following 
can hardly be beaten : " Snowed heavily. Men rested 
and bathed. Football match." A man who could write 
in that vein was certainly innocent of shell-shock ! One 
diarist kills three men on two different occasions, with full 
details. But as a tour deforce the description by a diarist 
of a certain battalion which went through the great 
retreat in March, 1918, stands supreme. On March 25th 
every unit appears to be retiring about him. The provi- 
sional line is crumbling. There is amazing confusion. 
Then comes the statement " 4 p.m. Artillery falling short 
on X (a neighbouring division). Brigade informed. 
Quiet evening." This from a " K " battalion is suggestive. 
One wonders what a disturbed evening would havebeen like. 
But the diaries are not always complete. One battalion 
diary gives no map references for the first seventeen 
months, and the first map reference does not give the 
number of the sheet. Frequently, perhaps invariably, 
the diaries give the position of battalion headquarters, 
though part of the battalion may have billeted some miles 
away. In most cases this would be of little importance. 
But in the case of the 4th Battalion at Mons on the night 
of the battle in 1914, it is of the first importance to know 
that part of the battalion slept north of the fine which 
von Kluck appears to have reported held by one of his 
corps ! The battalion diary gives the locus of the battalion 
that night as Ciply. Captain Harding notes that they 
slept that night in a field " at Mons Hospital." * 

* Lieutenant Longman, of the same company, says " Nimy Hospital." 
This is clearly a slip for Mons. 



32 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

At times, where detail is most desirable, incidents have 
had to be slurred over because of a complete conflict of 
evidence. The time for anonymous heroes would seem 
to have passed ; but, with the perversity of the Regular 
battalions impelling them to cover up their deeds and the 
conflict of evidence where the broad outlines are given, 
it will still require years of research before the full flower 
of the British soldiers' achievement can be known. 



CHAPTER II 

FIRST BATTLES — MONS TO THE AISNE 

In England the first contact of the British forces with 
the German Army formed a unique episode. Other en- 
counters took on a grander colouring ; others were viewed 
with a graver anxiety. But the battle of Mons, which 
saw the first entry of the British Army into the world war, 
stirred the emotions deeper than any subsequent action. 

It was not in this way, however, that the army first gave 
battle. The 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers engaged at 
Mons with a coolness which is bewildering and almost 
distressing to the civilian. Stationed at Parkhurst at the 
outbreak of war, it had reported mobilised before midnight 
on August 8th. It began to move on the 12th and sailed 
for Havre at 6 p.m. on the following day. The speed and 
smoothness of its preparations had outpaced the arrange- 
ments for its reception ; and only the Northumberland 
Fusiliers of the 9th Brigade could be accommodated in 
tents at the rest camp at Harfleur. The weather was hot. 
The battalion had embodied 734 reservists ; and as the 
troops struggled up the steep hill to the rest camp after a 
seven mile march about 97 fell out. 

The men had met with an enthusiastic reception at 
Havre. French soldiers on the quay gave them a hearty 
welcome, and the troops did their best to show their sense 
of gratitude by whistling the " Marseillaise." By a 
transition which needs no explanation to those who know 
the ordinary Tommy, they then turned to " Hold your 
hand out, naughty boy." This, sung with great fervour 
and seriousness, was received with bared heads by the 
French, who quite pardonably thought it the British 
National Anthem. It was a great day, and even the 

F. D 



34 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

settling down into orchards for the night did not chasten 
the men's spirits. 

But that night a terrific thunderstorm burst over the 
camp, and the men, lying in the open, were soaked to the 
skin. The rain came down in torrents and it continued 
almost to the moment when, on the 16th, the battalion 
entrained for the concentration area. The train slowly 
crossed the country via Amiens to Landrecies, and every- 
where on the line were cheering French crowds with 
presents of flowers. Early on the 17th the battalion 
arrived at Landrecies and marched to Noyelles, where, 
with a little rest and marching, the men got into condition. 
These were the days when people at home were almost 
holding their breath ; but if they could have seen several 
officers and men fishing in a tiny pond and catching 
minnows on pins they might have been reassured, or 
perhaps, more apprehensive ! 

On the 20th the battalion left Noyelles for Taisnaires, 
and on the following day they marched out as advance 
guard and billeted at La Longueville. On this day the 
outposts of the 9th Brigade lay across the battlefield of 
Malplaquet. The hour of departure on the 22nd had been 
fixed at 4 a.m. for 6.30 a.m., but at five o'clock a message 
reached brigade headquarters that the starting time was 
to be advanced by an hour and a half. 

The 4th Battalion were on the march before 5.15, a 
very remarkable performance. They were again advance 
guard, and by the evening they had reached Nimy, after 
meeting with an enthusiastic welcome from the people 
of Mons, who loaded them with presents of eggs, fruit, 
tobacco, and even handkerchiefs. The position at this 
moment deserves notice. Army orders issued by von 
Bulow at 8 p.m. on the 22nd showed very clearly that no 
appreciable force of the British was thought to be within 
the marching radius of the First and Second German 
Armies. On the other hand, the British Army did not 
expect to meet with anything more than a stimulating 
opposition from the Germans. It is necessary to bear the 




Brig.-Gexeral N. R. McMahon, D.S.O., who commanded 
4th Royal Fusiliers from Mons to Ypres. 



the 



DISPOSITIONS AT MONS 35 

latter fact in mind to appreciate the dispositions of the 
Royal Fusiliers. 

They formed part of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Division, 
and their orders were to the effect that the canal was to 
be " the line of resistance." But on the night of the 
22nd the battalion was occupying posts covering Ghlin, 
just south of the Bois de Ghlin and the Bois Brule. There 
was no field of fire, and every opportunity for unseen 
approach. Such a position, obviously, would have been 
unthinkable if any prolonged defence had been contem- 
plated ; and, indeed, late in the afternoon the men were 
withdrawn to the canal. Even now there were strict 
orders that the canal bridges should not be destroyed 
without explicit orders from the 3rd Division ; and, 
finally, the general disposition of the line, with its sharp 
salient about Mons, sufficiently emphasises the provisional 
nature of the position and the implied probability of a 
light encounter and a subsequent advance. 

Mons. — The Royal Fusiliers were to bear the brunt of this 
misconception. As the right-hand battalion of the brigade, 
they were disposed along the western face of the canal bend, 
with the charge of all the crossings up to and including 
Nimy Bridge. On their right lay the 4th Middlesex, 
charged with the defence of the eastern face of the canal. 
The left (IX.) corps of the First German Army was engaged 
on this part of the front, each of the two battalions in the 
canal bend having to withstand the attack of two regi- 
ments (each of three battalions) of the 18th Jager Division. 
On the morning of the 23rd the battalion, mustering 26 
officers and 983 other ranks, was disposed as follows : — 

Y (or " C ") Company, under Captain Ashburner, lay 
north of Nimy, its right joining with the 4th Middlesex, 
and its left a little north of Lock 6. Captain Forster, with 
two platoons, held Nimy Bridge ; the two other platoons 
and company H.Q. were entrenched at the railway bridge 
and on the canal bank to the left of it. 

Z (or " D ") Company, under Captain Byng, held 
positions about Lock 6 and the Ghlin-Mons bridges. 

D 2 



36 ROYAL FCSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

X (or " B ") Company, under Captain Carey, lay about 
Nimy station in support, at battalion headquarters ; and 
Captain Cole lay with the battalion reserve W (or " A ") 
Company north of Mons. In point of fact, therefore, the 
two companies, Y and Z, were on the defensive against 
six German battalions. 




Sketch Map showing the General Disposition of the 4TH 
Royal Fusiliers at the Battle of Mons. 

To the right lies the hospital, near which part of the battalion lay on 

the night after the battle. 

The march to Mons had been trying, and there was no 
time for rest. After a twenty miles tramp the men were 
set to work to put the wood position about Ghlin into 
a state of defence. When a good deal of labour had been 
spent in an attempt to make it defensible, the men were 
withdrawn to the canal line. Captain Byng's company 
still lay on both sides of the canal ; and at first the main 
position was on the German side. The Ghlin-Mons 
railway bridge was blocked by the ingenious expedient 



THE FIRST SHOTS 37 

of wheeling cable drums thither and then turning them 
over on their sides. But Z Company was not seriously 
attacked except during the last three-quarters of an hour 
before the retirement. The heavier attack was delivered 
against the Nimy bridges, and particularly the railway 
bridge. On the eastern face of the canal the German 
attack was made more advantageously, because un- 
hampered by buildings. To avoid a similar handicap 
on the western side, the Germans made little attempt 
against Nimy Bridge, which is covered by houses and 
buildings, and in any case was swung back, but struck 
more violently against the railway bridge and its neigh- 
bourhood, where the ground was opener. The German 
side of the bridge was blocked by a wire entanglement, 
and across the track within the canal loop a trench had 
been dug. The railway embankment stood high and the 
trees on its sides gave some cover to the troops between 
it and the Nimy Bridge. The two machine guns were in 
small emplacements built on either buttress of the railway 
bridge, the right one, with a fair radius of action command- 
ing the flats, below the bridge. They afforded an 
inevitable focussing point for the German fire. 

It was a body of very weary men who met the Germans 
on the morning of the 23rd, for many of them had been 
working practically all night. The Germans could be 
heard moving about in the woods north of the canal in 
the dark, and early in the morning a cavalry patrol 
consisting of an officer and about six men suddenly 
appeared on the Nimy road. They galloped straight 
towards the bridge, which was swung round, making an 
impassable obstacle. The Fusiliers opened fire, shot 
four of the men and wounded the officer. Two of the 
men were apparently untouched, and rode off. The 
officer, with his horse shot and wounded in the leg, was 
captured. By a singular irony it was Lieutenant von 
Arnim, son of the commander of the IV. * German Army 
Corps. He was wearing his Death's Head Hussar 

* Engaged against the left of Smith-Dorrien's corps. 



38 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

uniform ; but the brave show merely threw into higher 
relief the folly of his action. His notebook showed that 
he had been observing the British position from the edge 
of the wood. An aeroplane had been seen making a 
thorough reconnaissance of the position the night before ; 
but, despite this activity, the Germans were in complete 
ignorance of the dimensions of the force in front of them, 
and when, at about ten o'clock, they opened the attack, 
they appeared above the skyline, approaching the railway 
and Nimy bridges in column of route. They were only 
about 1,000 yards distant ; and the rapid fire, assisted by 
the machine guns, in a few minutes destroyed their leading 
section of fours. The men had never expected such 
targets, and they eagerly seized upon the opportunity. 
The column retired out of view, and the position was 
thoroughly shelled before the advance was resumed in 
extended order. There was no reply to the German guns, 
and their fire was particularly galling because of this fact. 

When the Fusiliers had first taken up their positions 
there had been no thought of retreat, and ammunition 
boxes had been distributed about the trenches. But as 
the battle developed an order came that the battalion 
was to be ready to move at ten minutes' notice. The 
ammunition was then put into carts with the result that 
a shortage was experienced, later, in the firing line. The 
German artillery very soon crept round the whole of the 
canal salient and Y Company was taken in rear, in 
enfilade and frontally. Some of the rifle fire aimed at this 
company caught Captain Attwood's post at Lock 6, where 
Lieutenant Harding's platoon lay, and, taking one of the 
trenches in enfilade and reverse, led to its abandonment. 
Apart from this and periodic bursts of shrapnel Z Company 
suffered little. They had early sunk the boats and fired 
the barges in case of retreat, and for the rest they could do 
nothing but witness the plight of Ashburner's company. 

In this section of the canal the position was almost 
desperate. The field of fire was indifferent, but the great 
volume of converging German fire could not fail to tell. 




Lieutenant M. J. Dease, 4TH Battalion, who won the first 
V.C. of the War at Mons, August 23RD, 1914. 



FIRST VICTORIA CROSSES 39 

Ashburner sent to Nimy for reinforcements, and Captain 
Carey sent up Second Lieutenant Mead with a platoon. 
He was shot in the head at once, but went back whistling 
to have it dressed behind the trenches. He returned to 
the front and was again shot through the head and killed. 
All this time the company kept up a destructive fire against 
the German infantry who lost very heavily. More rein- 
forcements were sent for, and Captain Bowden-Smith and 
Lieutenant E. C. Smith went up with a platoon. The 
latter was killed and the former was left dying on the retire- 
ment. Captain Fred Forster, of Ashburner's company, 
was also killed. Ashburner himself was wounded near the 
eye, and Lieutenant Steele was hit. The fight grew hotter 
and more terrible. The machine gun crews were constantly 
being knocked out. So cramped was their position that 
when a man was hit he had to be removed before another 
could take his place. The approach from the trench was 
across the open, and whenever the gun stopped Lieutenant 
Maurice Dease, the young machine gun officer, went up 
to see what was wrong. To do this once called for no ordi- 
nary courage. To repeat it several times could only be 
done with real heroism. Dease was twice badly wounded 
on these journeys, but insisted on remaining at duty as 
long as one of his crew could fire. The third wound proved 
fatal, and a well deserved V.C. was awarded him post- 
humously. By this time both guns had ceased firing, and 
all the crew had been knocked out. In response to an in- 
quiry whether any one else knew how to operate the guns 
Private Godley came forward. He cleared the emplace- 
ment under heavy fire and brought the gun into action. 
But he had not been firing long before the gun was hit 
and put completely out of action. The water jackets of 
both guns were riddled with bullets, so that they were no 
longer of any use. Godley himself was badly wounded and 
later fell into the hands of the Germans. He was cheered 
in his captivity to learn that he also had been awarded 
the V.C* At 1.40 p.m. the battalion was finally ordered 

* These were the first V.C.'s won and awarded during the war. 



40 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

to retire, and did so in perfect order. Ashburner's com- 
pany had lost about 75 men, and the Germans were 
within 200 yards of their position. They fell back slowly 
upon Mons and, when they were well clear of their position, 
Byng's company retired. For three-quarters of an hour 
this company had been under direct frontal attack from 
the woods in front ; but the Germans had made no head- 
way. Now they had about a mile to cover, the first 250 
yards over open ground with the German guns firing 
shrapnel at 500 yards range, and a heavy rifle fire. There 
were two railway embankments to cross ; but the com- 
pany suffered little beyond thrills despite the heavy fire. 
The infantry were firing high, and even shrapnel burst 
too high to be effective. At the second embankment they 
met X and Y Company, and with them got safely through 
to Mons. The retirement was covered by W Company act- 
ing rearguard with Major Mallock in charge. No Germans 
crossed by the bridges which the Royal Fusiliers had 
defended, while the rearguard stood north of Mons. But 
the enemy had forced the Obourg bridge on the eastern side 
of the canal bend, and from the higher ground to the west 
of it a heavy fire was opened upon the last Fusiliers to 
retire. The rearguard joined the rest of the battalion in 
the Market Square, where a short halt was made. 

The 4th Battalion had suffered very heavily. Besides 
the officers already mentioned there were about 150 other 
ranks' casualties. There were many remarkable escapes. 
Lieutenant (" Kingy ") Tower, of Y Company, had his hat 
shot off, his rifle hit and two bullets through his puttees. 
Private Denners, of the same company, had three shots 
through his hat, one on the end of his rifle, and one 
through the sole of his boot, but he was unhurt. 

The men had exacted a very heavy price for these 
losses, and it is now known that this factor had a material 
iufluence on the later German tactics.* On the immediate 
course of the battle its influence was of decisive import- 
ance. Though the canal bend was abandoned at 2 p.m. 

* " Forty Days in 19 14," General Maurice, p. 83. 



THE RETREAT, AUGUST 24TH 41 

and there still remained several hours of daylight the 
troops were not molested, and part of the Royal Fusiliers 
were joined by the Middlesex Regiment in an open field at 
the hospital in Mons.* The IX. German Corps reported 
its outposts after dusk in touch with the main British 
position. Von Kluck states that " the IX. Corps had 
occupied the southern edge of Mons f . . ." But this 
was apparently an euphemism. General von Biilow, who 
seems to have been more alive to the chances of the situa- 
tion, attempted to compel the IX. Corps to bestir itself. 
His order issued " between 8 p.m. and 10.15 p.m." f and 
received at 0.7 on the 24th directed that the corps should 
" advance immediately west of Maubeuge ..." An 
order was also sent direct to the IX. Corps that it " was 
to be alarmed and advance at once. In reply to this, a 
message was sent back that both the IX. and III. Corps 
were already in a battle position facing the enemy . . . and 
that the advance ordered was therefore impracticable." 

They had learned a new respect for the British fire, and 
no small part in the inculcation of this lesson was played 
by the 4th Battalion. 

Retreat. — But while General von Biilow was receiving 
caustic but very unsatisfactory replies from General 
von Kluck, the Royal Fusiliers were on the move once 
more. At 2 a.m., after about four hours' sleep, the 
battalion left Mons Hospital and took up a position south 
of Mons, covering Frameries. An attempt was made to 
put an extended line into a state of defence. The battalion 
was in support to the 7th Brigade at this time beyond the 

* This much seems clear — Byng's company were at Mons Hospital 
and probably Ashburner's. The other two companies and headquarters 
were clear of Mons at 3.30 p.m., and at 7 p.m. arrived at Ciply, two or 
three miles south of Mons. The first point is substantiated by the 
private diaries of two officers of Byng's company, and the second by 
the battalion diary and Major Mallock's diary. 

f " The March on Paris, 1914," p. 48. There is a certain ambiguity 
about the time to which this refers. If the words " by the evening " 
govern the rest of the paragraph, von Kluck is inaccurate. But during 
the night, i.e., on the 24th, the British fell back. 

X Ibid., p. 51. 



42 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

brow of a hill. On the crest was a small house which 
Lieutenant Longman's platoon loopholed, and it was later 
used to cover the retreat of the firing line. The officers 
of the battalion were receiving verbal instruction as to the 
way the supports would have to go when the Germans 
attacked, opening with an artillery bombardment to which 
the British guns replied. Dawn had just broken when 
Byng's company was sent to reinforce the left flank of the 
position which the Germans were trying to turn. This 
part of the line had not been entrenched and the half 
company lying on the extreme left suffered very heavily. 
The rest of the line had fallen back when Byng retired 
with a loss of about 40 per cent., covered by Longman's 
platoon. About 2,000 yards farther back the battalion 
stood in an entrenched position, and waited for the Germans 
to appear over the crest of the hill. The British guns were 
bursting over the reverse slope and the heavy rifle fire 
which met the enemy as they reached the crest line 
caused them to fall back. The battalion remained on 
this position a little longer and then retired through 
Genly. Byng's section of this company alone had lost 

43 men. 

Then followed a long and tiring march as rearguard 
across the French frontier to Bermeries, which the batta- 
lion reached at 10.30 p.m. Despite the weariness of the 
men they marched very steadily, and on the following day 
covered about thirty-five miles to Inchy. They had left 
Bermeries at 5 a.m. and arrived at Inchy about 6.15 p.m. 
It began to pour with rain as the battalion reached the 
northern side of Inchy. This was the worst day of the 
retreat. The men were all deadbeat and suffering badly 
from sore feet. Two of the companies, X and Y, were 
put on outpost duty. The French maps had been handed 
in on the 22nd, when only Belgian ones were retained ; 
and, consequently, the men were compelled to operate in 
an unknown country. The night, in a spiteful mood, 
sent alternate downpours and high wind. Not far to the 
north the sky was lit by the flames of burning houses. 



THE ACTION OF AUGUST 26th 43 

The cavalry could be heard exchanging shots with the 
enemy. 

Le Cateau. — About 6 a.m. the battalion fell back 
through Inchy. The cavalry had ridden through about 
two hours before. The battalion had now reached the 
battlefield of Le Cateau. Trenches had been dug the 
preceding day south of Inchy by civilian labour, but as 
they faced the wrong way the battalion had to begin 
digging feverishly. They had only been engaged between 
half and three-quarters of an hour when the battle began. 
The Northumberland Fusiliers took over the trenches and 
the Royal Fusiliers moved back into support. A little 
distance behind the firing line, and roughly parallel to it, 
was a sunken lane. The battalion was moving into it 
when a sudden burst of shrapnel caught them. Second 
Lieutenant Sampson was wounded, one man was killed, 
and about 20 to 25 were wounded. A slight panic resulted, 
but the cool and firm handling of Mallock brought the men 
speedily under control. For the remainder of the battle 
the men had a comparatively good time. The cookers 
were in Troisville and a hot meal was obtained. About 
250 yards in the rear of the lane were two batteries of 
artillery and, as a result, shells from both sides continually 
crossed overhead, but without doing any damage. 

The Retreat resumed. — About 1 p.m. there was a 
short lull, and then came a sudden burst of firing about half 
a mile to the right. It was about 2 p.m., and the Germans 
could be seen passing through the British lines. Shortly 
after this the order was given to retire. The Royal Fusiliers 
had had a good rest and Colonel McMahon, whose coolness, 
clearness and decision had meant so much to the battalion, 
was now ordered to command the rearguard to the 
3rd Division with the 4th Battalion ; and half the Royal 
Scots Fusiliers were placed under his orders. The roads 
leading south were packed with the retreating troops in 
considerable confusion. The rearguard formed up in 
front of the junction of two converging roads until the 
confused mass had streamed past, and then fell back in 



44 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

perfect order in a series of extended lines. The Germans 
had learned a new caution and when pursuit would have 
been perhaps decisive, none was made. The attempt had 
been made to separate the two corps ; but when it was 
virtually achieved there followed the inexplicable failure 
to exploit the success. The 4th Battalion marched 
through a village at attention, arms sloped and fours 
dressed. They were seen about this time by General 
Hamilton, the Commander of the 3rd Division, who, no 
doubt, contrasting the disorderly retreat of the garrison 
of the firing line, could not resist exclaiming, " Well done, 
Fusiliers ! " 

The battalion marched on till about 2 a.m. on the 27th, 
when a halt was made by the roadside until 3.30, when the 
retreat was resumed. They reached Hargicourt about 
10 a.m., and after an hour's rest marched on again as 
rearguard to Vermand, where they arrived at 6.30 p.m. 
With the exception of about two and a half hours' rest 
they had had twenty-eight hours' continuous marching. 
Shortly after midnight they were on the move once more. 
Ham was reached at 9.30 a.m., and after a short halt the 
battalion fell back once more to Crissoles. Arriving at 
6.30 p.m., the men were billeted and had a rest and hot food. 
On the next day, Saturday, the battalion moved out 
again as rearguard to the division. Here the country is 
well wooded and the Fusiliers could see several Uhlan 
patrols. In front of a large forest they were even able 
to shoot two Uhlans who proved over-venturesome. At 
dusk the battalion fell back through the wood and marched 
all night via Noyons to Cuts, and, after a short halt, to 
Montois. On arrival at Montois at 7 a.m., on Sunday the 
30th, the battalion rested and did not leave the village 
till twenty-four hours later. Leaving Montois at 7 a.m. 
the battalion arrived after a hot march through woods 
at Vauciennes, midway between Villers-Cotterets and 
Crepy on the national road to Paris. They were billeted 
in a sugar factory, which did not leave very comfortable 
recollections behind it. The battalion was once more 



FARTHEST SOUTH, SEPTEMBER 5th 45 

rearguard when it marched south at dawn on September 
1st to Bouillancy. Starting at 4.30 a.m. on the following 
day they arrived at Penchard, on the main road to Meaux, 
at 2 p.m., and placed outposts for the brigade. On 
September 3rd the battalion passed through Meaux to 
Le Mans Farm, where much wholesome food was obtained. 
At 1 p.m. on the following day the Fusiliers were ordered 
out to take up a defensive position south of La Haute 
Maison ; and at n p.m. the march was resumed to 
Chatres, which was reached at 7 a.m. on September 5th. 
It was the southernmost point of the Fusiliers. 

Despite their ordeal at Mons the battalion had suffered 
comparatively little, and the fatigue and hardships of the 
long retreat had not weakened their spirit. And when on 
Sunday morning the order came to advance once more, it 
was certainly received with a sigh of relief. It was exactly 
a fortnight since the men had first found contact with the 
German troops and they were anxious to resume that 
inconclusive encounter. They had been rearguard during 
the retreat. Now they marched as advance guard, moving 
at first with the uncertainty that characterised the British 
Army's entry into the battle of the Marne. About 10 a.m. 
they passed the First Corps, and at 7 p.m. reached billets 
in Lumigny. The advance was resumed on the following 
day at 12 noon, on crowded roads, to La Martroy,* where, 
at 7 p.m., the battalion billeted. Two hours before the 
battalion had passed through Coulommiers, where signs 
of the German occupation were in evidence though the 
trains were again running. At La Martroy the Fusiliers 
received their second reinforcements, Second Lieutenant 
Hughes and 93 men. 

Leaving La Martroy at 6 a.m. on the 8th the division 
first achieved contact with the enemy at Orly, where they 

* It is perhaps useful to point out that officers' diaries frequently 
differ as to the places reached. Thus, on Sunday, August 30th, the 
battalion halted at Montois ; but some diaries give this as Vic, about 
a mile north. Similarly, Vaumoise is cited instead of Vauciennes, close 
by ; La Bretonniere instead of La Martroy. The places given in this 
chapter are those at which battalion headquarters rested. 



46 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

were held up for some hours, so that the battalion only 
reached Les Faucheres at 8 p.m. 

On the following day the Royal Fusiliers crossed the 
Marne unopposed ; and, though not engaged in the day's 
fighting, were on outpost duty all night and lay in the 
trenches. On September ioth the battalion came into con- 
tact with the enemy at Veuilly. The men were tired after 
the outposts, and a cold rain set in. But about 9 a.m. the 
cavalry brought information that the German rearguard, 
about two miles ahead, was breakfasting ; and the Royal 
Fusiliers went forward at once. Lieutenant Steele's 
platoon was first engaged, and Lieutenant Longman was 
sent up as a reinforcement. A sharp engagement followed, 
in which 5 men were killed, 29 wounded, and Lieutenants 
Tower, Beazley, Jackson and Longman were wounded, the 
first two severely. The rearguard was quickly overcome 
and, in conjunction with the Scots Fusiliers, the battalion 
captured 600 prisoners and the machine gun which had 
inflicted most of the wounds on Y Company. With four 
more officers wounded and two, Captain Whinney and 
Lieutenant Barton sick, the command of the battalion 
was seriously weakened. On the following day the 
battalion arrived at Grand Rozoy at 1 p.m., and the day 
was memorable as the first on which firing had not been 
heard. The Germans had fallen back hurriedly. Small 
bodies were encountered in the woods south of Brenelle on 
the 12th ; but they were quickly put to flight and the 
battalion billeted in Brenelle. 

The Aisne.— On the 13th the battle of the Marne 
began to merge into the battle of the Aisne. The bridges 
had been blown up, and when the battalion reached 
Vailly their only means of crossing was by a narrow plank 
which wobbled very suggestively as the men went across. 
A position had to be taken up to the left of Rouge Maison 
Farm. When the battalion approached the spot it was 
pitch dark and pouring with rain. X and Z Companies 
pushed forward and took up an outpost line, just after 
midnight, on the Rouge Maison Spur. The other two 



THE AISNE, SEPTEMBER 14TH 47 

companies occupied a hollow road in the rear ; and all 
spent a very wet night in the open. The importance of 
this bold advance in the dark was not realised at the 
moment ; but it soon became apparent from the German 
efforts to dislodge the Fusiliers from their position. The 
morning of the 14th dawned wet and foggy ; and it was 
at once seen that the depth of the battalion's advance had 
been too great for the extent of its hold on the plateau. 
One of Byng's posts was so close to the enemy main line 
that the Germans could be clearly heard talking. The 
two forward companies began to extend their line towards 
the left, W and Y being sent forward to support them. 
As W advanced to support X it was discovered that there 
was a trench about 300 yards from their right, and the 
company wheeled to face it. A patrol sent forward was 
immediately fired upon, and the position had hardly been 
disclosed before the battalion on the right was seen to 
be retiring. The Germans immediately profited by this 
mischance to take the Fusiliers' right flank in enfilade 
with machine guns, and many casualties were suffered. 
Cole and Hobbs fell at once. The whole of the plateau 
now came under rifle, machine gun and shell fire, with the 
support of which the Germans attacked. Byng moved 
too far to the left and Ashburner, who had now resumed 
command of Y Company, ceased to follow and moved to 
support W. Ashburner's company was ordered to move 
to the cover of the steep bank west of the road and remain 
in reserve. These positions were held till nightfall, when 
the losses of the day were seen to have been extremely 
heavy. Captains Byng, Cole and Attwood and Lieutenant 
Hobbs were killed, Lieutenant Orred wounded, and 200 
other ranks were killed or wounded. The battalion had 
been compelled to readjust their position and reconcen- 
trate about the sunken road west of the farm. 

Two platoons of X Company occupied Rouge Maison 
Farm that night, and beat off an attack with rifle fire and 
the bayonet. During the 15th the battalion clung to its 
positions, retiring from the farm during the day, but 



48 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

reoccupying it at night with a platoon of X Company. It 
was attacked during the night, but the Germans were 
beaten off, a few of them being ejected from the farm at 
the point of the bayonet. The night was very wet, and the 
battalion was in no enviable position ; but during the three 
following days they were little disturbed and the position 
was strengthened. German shells continually shrieked 
overhead as the enemy devoted himself to the bombard- 
ment of Vailly. 

On the 19th a very heavy bombardment began about 
2.30 p.m. The British artillery was outranged, and made 
no effective reply. After a particularly severe shelling 
of the whole battalion front at short range, the Germans 
attacked about 6 p.m. with great determination. They 
were beaten off with heavy loss, and one party, losing 
direction in the darkness, offered its flank to the Fusiliers, 
who were not slow to take advantage. Before the barrier 
in front of one small part of X Company 25 German 
dead were counted. The battalion suffered 50 casualties 
during the day. At dawn on " Alma " day the attack 
was resumed, and a heavy howitzer was brought to within 
800 yards of the position, and, taking it in enfilade, caused 
several casualties. Two field guns had also been 
entrenched within 500 yards of the trenches, and the 
battalion's position in the salient was becoming precarious 
when the British artillery began to give effective support. 
The howitzer had to be withdrawn. The attack was 
beaten off, and although Second Lieutenant Hughes and 
about 20 other ranks were killed and wounded, the 
Germans suffered more heavily. At 5 p.m. the Lincoln- 
shires relieved the Royal Fusiliers, who went back to Vailly 
after having been in the trenches for seven days and 
eight nights. Their total casualties were 5 officers and 
300 men ; but their work again had been of a very high 
quality, and they were the recipients of warm praise from 
the brigade and divisional commanders.* 

* " The commanding officer received last night from General 
Hamilton, commanding 3rd Division, and from General Shaw, com- 



ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST BATTALION 49 

In the early hours of the morning of the 21st the 
battalion, relieved in Vailly, moved to Courcelles. During 
the afternoon Sir John French visited them in billets, and 
complimented them.* On the following day Sir Horace 
Smith-Dorrien came to Courcelles to add his own appre- 
ciation of the Fusiliers' work. During this rest two drafts 
arrived, and the battalion was brought approximately 
up to strength, and at 9 p.m. relieved the Royal Irish 
in trenches on the south-west side of the Rouge Maison 
Spur. This tour of the trenches was uneventful, and on 
the evening of October 2nd the battalion was relieved, 
marched south through Braisnes, and billeted north of 
Servenay after a trek of sixteen miles. 

5jS *JC 5(5 *p 

Meanwhile the 1st Battalion under Lieut.-Colonel 
R. Fowler-Butler had reached the Aisne and made their 
debut in the war. They were in Ireland on August 4th, 
but by mid- August had arrived at Cambridge, and reached 
St. Nazaire during the advance to the Aisne. They left 
Courcelles two days before the 4th Battalion went into 
billets there, on relief after their tenure of the Rouge 
Maison salient. On the 21st, as the latter battalion were 
coming out of the line for a rest, they marched from 
Dhuizel to trenches north of Soupir, via Vieil Arcy, St. 
Mard, Cys and Chavonne. The brigade (17th) front 

manding gth Brigade, emphatic expressions of their appreciation of the 
splendid service rendered by the battalion during the eight days' close 
fighting just concluded. From the warm terms of praise used by the 
divisional and brigade commanders the CO. thinks it may be assumed 
that the battalion has earned some measure of distinction in these 
operations, and feels that this recognition of something achieved for 
the country at heavy cost to the regiment, coming, as it does, after 
several acknowledgments of good work at Mons, of good marching and 
of all-round efficiency, will increase the feeling of pride which all have 
in their regiment, and encourage all ranks to earn further distinction 
in the future. From his own personal observation, the CO. has been 
extremely gratified by the fine bearing and soldierly endurance of the 
battalion during the campaign. Every effort must be made to main- 
tain, and even to improve upon, this high standard. — (Signed) N. R. 
McMahon, Lieut.-Colonel." 

* " No troops in the world could have done better than you have. 
England is proud of you, and I am proud of you." 

F. E 



50 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

stretched between the canal at Fort de Metz and the road 
at La Cour de Soupir. At the latter place lay the 
Leinsters, with the Royal Fusiliers on their right. Their 
first tour of the trenches was comparatively uneventful. 
On the part of the line where they lay the periodical 
rumour that the Germans were abandoning their positions 
resulted in the only casualties suffered in the first 
acquaintance with the enemy. Where the 4th Battalion 
had stood it was quite evident that the Germans were 
still in possession ; and, indeed, even on the Soupir 
section the 1st Battalion were sufficiently certified of 
the enemy's tenure of the trenches 300 yards distant by 
observation from the branches of a tree. But some of 
the higher powers proved sceptical, and patrols were 
ordered out. On the night of the 22nd Captain Howlett 
was wounded, and 2 other ranks were killed, 13 wounded, 
and 3 missing after one of these feelers. A daylight 
patrol on the 27th resulted in 17 O.R. being killed and 
12 wounded. Apart from these two unfortunately 
successful attempts to test the strength of the German 
trench garrison, the first tour of the trenches was unevent- 
ful. They were relieved on October 1st, and were billeted 
in Dhuizel. On the 4th they relieved General de Lisle's 
cavalry brigade as corps troops at Chassemy, a lively spot 
near the Conde bridge, held by the Germans. The bridge 
consisted of only a few planks across the broken section ; 
but the enemy had also two or three boats on the river, 
and the approach to the battalion's position became 
possible only after dark. On the evening of the 6th the 
battalion marched south to follow the 4th Battalion in 
the gradual movement of the British Army to the northern 
flank. 



CHAPTER III 

FLANDERS — LA BASSEE, ARMENTIERES, YPRES 

By the end of the second week in October the ist and 
4th Battalions were both in Flanders, moving among 
places which saw more of the British troops during the 
war than any others. But the condition of the two bat- 
talions was very different. The ist Battalion was one over 
strength in officers on the Aisne ; the 4th required a draft of 
11 officers to bring it within sight of full strength. Junior 
officers who had attained exalted rank returned to their 
platoons, and the battalion marched, with little interval, 
into the thick of a hot battle. The atmosphere of the 
struggle had changed, and the troops got their first 
experience of village fighting. 

On October 12th the 4th Battalion moved towards 
Vieille Chapelle along roads almost blocked by French 
cavalry. They were in divisional reserve, and remained 
so until the 15th, when they moved forward towards the 
Estaires-Neuve Chapelle road. The battalion attacked 
through Pont du Hem, W and X Companies being in the 
front line ; and easily brushed aside the cavalry screen in 
front of them. The advance was resumed on the following 
day to the Rue d'Enfer, where the enemy were found 
holding houses, and at dusk a halt was made on a line 
extending from Trivolet (W, Captain Swifte), along Rue 
d'Enfer, to Moulin du Pietre (X, Carey). There had 
been little resistance, and the few casualties suffered were 
due to snipers. 

Herlies. — Aubers had been evacuated during the 
night, and the battalion entered it unopposed on the 
morning of the 17th ; but there some German cavalry 

E 2 



52 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

were encountered advancing from Fromelles. The bat- 
talion was on the left of the division, with its flank 
supposed to be covered by French cavalry. The advance 
of the German cavalry delayed the march upon Herlies, 
which was found to be held in some strength. Captain 
Swift, with W Company, marched direct upon it by the 
Aubers-Herlies road, while Colonel McMahon took the 
other three companies through Le Plouich and Le Riez. 
The Lincolns, on the right of the Fusiliers, moved due 
eastwards ; and under this converging attack the Germans 
were forced out of the village. At about 6.30 p.m. 
Colonel McMahon entered from the north as Swift, with 
the Lincolns, was pushing the enemy out at the point of 
the bayonet. W Company lost Lieutenant Hodges, 
killed, and about 10 other casualties. An outpost line 
was taken up from Le Petit Riez to the southern outskirts 
of Herlies. The houses were searched, and a few Germans 
were discovered. 

The division had now reached an uneasy equilibrium 
with the German forces on their front, and no further 
advance was possible. The 18th was spent in strengthen- 
ing the positions, all of which came under a heavy bom- 
bardment from field and heavy guns. About 5 p.m. the 
battalions on the right and left of the Royal Fusiliers, the 
Scots Fusiliers and the Royal Irish, attacked after a 
preliminary bombardment. The Germans at once replied. 
Captain Waller, Lieutenants Cooper, Gorst and Longman, 
all of Z Company, were at this time having tea in a farm 
at Petit Riez, near their trenches. The three first ran out 
to see what was happening. Longman stayed behind ; and 
a shell fell upon the farm, burst in the room and killed 
him as he sat at table, a tragic end to a life of much 
promise. 

During the morning of the following day the 8th Brigade 
took over Le Grand Riez, thus enabling the battalion to 
contract their front. The Fusiliers supported by their 
fire an attack on Le Pilly made in the afternoon by the 
18th Royal Irish. The latter reached the station with 



HERLIES, SEPTEMBER, 1914 53 

heavy loss, but were counter-attacked after an intense 
bombardment and suffered more casualties. During the 
night Lieutenant Moxon's platoon was sent to the support 
of the Royal Irish in Le Pilly — it was all the help that 
could be given — and the Northumberland Fusiliers took 
over the position south of Herlies. The 4th Middlesex 
also relieved Z Company in Le Petit Riez. The Royal 
Fusiliers now held the west side of Herlies from the Le 
Pilly road. About 7 a.m. on the 20th a violent bombard- 
ment of Herlies with heavy guns began, and the town was 
speedily reduced to ruins. The only building left intact 
was the convent behind the church. The German infantry 
followed this up by repeated attempts to penetrate the 
village, which now lay at the angle of a narrow salient. 
About 9 a.m. the Northumberland Fusiliers reported 
determined attempts to outflank them on the southern 
boundaries of Herlies, and Captain Carey was sent up 
with a company to attempt to relieve the pressure by 
initiating an outflanking movement towards Moxon's 
position. They had to advance over the open, which was 
now covered by shell fire, and they lost very heavily. Carey 
was severely wounded by a shell splinter. Moxon had 
sustained a serious wound in the head. But a platoon 
reached his position. Ashburner was wounded by a shell 
splinter in Herlies. 

About 1 p.m. Z Company was sent back to prepare a 
second position. The struggle grew more bitter, and about 
4 p.m. half a battalion of Royal Scots was sent to Colonel 
McMahon to reinforce Herlies. During the night the 
Northumberland Fusiliers were relieved by the Scots 
Fusiliers. W and Y Companies still held their positions 
on the west of Herlies, but the French had evacuated 
Fromelles ; and in the afternoon the battalion was ordered 
to abandon Herlies. During the night the retirement was 
carried out to a position between Haut Pommereau and 
Le Plouich. The movement was unnoticed by the enemy, 
who continued to shell Herlies long after the battalion 
had left. The fighting in and about this village resulted 



54 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

in 5 officers and 150 other ranks being killed and wounded. 
The 22nd was spent in organising the new position, when 
orders were received to retire some four miles further 
back. No transport was available for much of the ammu- 
nition and rations, and they had to be abandoned. After a 
night march the battalion reached Pont du Hem at 4 a.m. 
on the 23rd and went into divisional reserve. They had 
been farther east than any British troops were destined 
to be for nearly four years ; but the enemy was too strong 
for the position to be maintained. 

Armentieres. — Meanwhile the 1st Battalion had 
become involved in the battle of Armentieres, which 
embodied that series of encounters that took place on the 
left flank of the battle of La Bassee. They started to rejoin 
the brigade at Merris on the 14th and had to march single 
file because of the congestion on the road. The conditions 
of this march are sufficiently indicated by the fact that 
part of the platoon under Goodliffe had to be detached to 
rescue the car of General Keir (O.C. VI. Division), which 
had run into snipers holding a farm about 500 yards off 
the road. The car was restored with little trouble, though 
it was nervous work in the dark ; and the battalion were 
settling down into bivouacs when another platoon was 
ordered to capture a gun which had flung two shells into 
the middle of the square formation. It was thought to be 
300 yards distant, but was eventually estimated to be 
about 1,000 yards farther off. On the next day they 
moved to Bac St. Maur. They were compelled to wait 
several hours in the road, and the men were constantly 
found swaying with sleep as they stood. Several horses 
even fell down in the road asleep. The battalion was near 
the limit of its endurance. If the crossing had been 
defended in force it is difficult to imagine what would 
have happened ; and the delay was due to the fact that 
on the first approach a number of shots had been fired 
across the river. At length some of the R.E. got across, 
swung back the central section, and the battalion crossed 
by the bridge. 



L'EPINETTE, SEPTEMBER, 1914 55 

They billeted at La Chapelle d'Armentieres on the 
following day, and on the 18th marched in support of the 
Rifle Brigade to test the strength of the enemy at Paren- 
chies and Premesques, preparatory to the movement of 
the III. Corps up the Lys. At 2 p.m. the battalion went 
up on the left flank of the Rifle Brigade, who were held up 
at the Halt before Parenchies. The Fusiliers advanced on 
L'Epinette, where a hot fire was encountered. It was 
there that an attempt was made to rescue the people from 
a burning farm; but when an entry was at last forced 
through a window no one could be found. The Germans 
were pressed back slightly, but Captain Palairet and 
Lieutenant Cooper were wounded and 4 other ranks 
were killed, 27 wounded, and 4 missing. It was difficult 
to move without coming under fire, and the wonder is 
that more casualties were not sustained. The battalion 
settled at night in a deep dyke. 

Two minor attacks, chiefly on the Rifle Brigade, took 
place during the night, and at 9 a.m. (20th) a rush was 
made for a gap between that regiment and the Fusiliers. 
During the rest of the day the positions were subjected to 
bombardment and sniping ; and Lieutenant Scholefield 
was wounded while crawling to obtain touch with the Rifle 
Brigade. The battalion were ordered to retire their 
positions slightly during the night, and the move was 
successfully carried out without molestation by the light 
of burning houses. Another feeble attack took place 
on the 21st after a desultory bombardment, and though 
this was easily beaten off, two officers, Fisher and Gals- 
worthy, were wounded. The battalion were relieved on 
the 23rd after a short but costly German attack. The 
machine guns caught the Germans at a range of some 500 
yards in the open. On relief the Fusiliers marched back 
to Armentieres, having to take cover from a heavy out- 
burst of firing on the way, and thence south to the Rue 
Petillon, which lies about two and a half miles north-east 
of Fromelles, from which place the French had retired 
three days before, as we have seen. In this position they 



56 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

were on the zone connecting the battlefields of Armentieres 
and La Bassee. 

* * * * 

The 4th Battalion had not long to rest. On the 24th 
they received an urgent order to fall in and to retake some 
trenches which had been lost by a battalion of the 8th 
Brigade. There was no staff officer to show which were 
the trenches, and Colonel McMahon was informed that the 
Germans were in a wood. A company was just forming 
up to take the wood at the point of the bayonet when an 
officer of the Royal Scots came up and said that his regi- 
ment had reoccupied the trenches and that no Germans 
were found. Nerves seemed to wear thin in these days. 

The battalion returned to billets only to be summoned 
out once more — noon, October 25th — to retake lost 
trenches. The battalion moved to the Rue du Bacquerot, 
and Y Company was ordered to move thence to the 
Fleurbaix-Neuve Chapelle road. The remainder of the 
battalion moved south to Pont Logy, about 1,000 yards 
due west of Neuve Chapelle. Two companies attacked 
from this point in a north-easterly direction, thus pre- 
senting a flank to Neuve Chapelle. Y Company, on the 
north, advanced across the open under a heavy shrapnel 
fire. The two companies at Pont Logy also came under 
heavy fire, but suffered few casualties until they 
approached the outskirts of Neuve Chapelle, the northern 
houses of which the Germans had occupied. There was 
no artillery support, and Sir Francis Waller was mortally 
wounded in leading his company (Z) in a gallant charge 
against the enemy positions. After a severe struggle, in 
which many losses were sustained, the lost trenches were 
reoccupied. Neuve Chapelle was cleared, and two field 
guns, which had been abandoned, were recaptured. 
Colonel McMahon was ordered to leave two companies 
and to return the other two to billets. Y Company was 
left in the firing line, with two platoons of Z in close 
support and two platoons in reserve. Major Mallock was 
left in charge of these companies. 



NEUVE CHAPELLE, OCTOBER, 1914 57 

On the following day the Germans attacked ; and at 
about 2 p.m. the two companies were brought up from 
billets to support. Some of the trenches recaptured 
by the battalion had been taken in an overwhelming 
onslaught in which the Germans pressed up to the 
parapets ; and a determined attempt was made during 
the night to recapture them. This engagement was 
one of the fiercest in which the battalion had taken 
part, and the attack was not only unsuccessful, but 
resulted in many casualties, including 8 officers. Sergeant 
Osborne, who was sent back by Gorst, had the utmost 
difficulty in getting away. The Germans were then at 
the trench parapets, and the Fusiliers fought there till they 
fell. On the 27th another attempt was made to recapture 
the lost positions, in conjunction with the remains of 
six battalions. Two companies of Chausseurs Alpins 
co-operated with the Fusiliers, and, after very severe 
hand-to-hand fighting, the trenches were almost recovered, 
when the weight of the battalion was too light to retain the 
positions. They were compelled to fall back to a new 
line. Two officers were among the heavy casualties of 
this day, and the battalion was reduced to some 8 officers 
and 350 other ranks. Major Mallock, who was seriously 
wounded in this attack; was a heavy loss. Second in 
command, he had been to the fore in every action from 
Mons to this moment. 

The battalion were relieved on the night of the 29th and 
marched to Merris via Vieille Chapelle and Doulieu. 
Several drafts were received, and on November 4th the 
battalion was inspected at Bailleul by Sir Horace Smith- 
Dorrien and warmly complimented. The terms of this 
speech deserve record. As remembered by Captain 
R. H. C. Routley, they were as follows : — 

" I asked Colonel McMahon to bring you into this small 
yard because I wanted to express to you my admiration 
for the work that your regiment, under his leadership, has 
been doing. 

" I have asked you to come in here because one can 



58 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

hear better, and I shall be very glad if you will let it be 
known to the men later on. 

' I simply cannot find words enough to express my 
admiration for the way in which your regiment has 
behaved. All through the campaign up to now they have 
had the hardest work of any regiment in the brigade, and 
any work they have had to do they have carried out 
exceedingly well. In fact, I can safely say that there is 
no better regiment in the British Army than the Royal 
Fusiliers. 

" I may add that I am the officer who writes the King's 
diary every day, and the work of your regiment has been 
specially mentioned in it ; and I can tell you that, when 
this war is over, you will have special mention made when 
you get home. 

" Now I must say a few words about your colonel, who 
stands here with us. Of course you know quite well that 
he has recently been promoted to a brigade, but the work 
he has done with the regiment has been so valuable, and 
so well done, that we cannot spare him to take up the 
position he ought to be now occupying, and, therefore, 
I am here to tell you — and I'm afraid it will be a great 
disappointment to you — that, instead of the seven or 
eight days' rest you were looking forward to at Bailleul, 
I am very much afraid that in another twenty-four or 
forty-eight hours you will find yourselves back in the 
trenches again. 

" You will remember a short time back General French 
came up and especially and personally thanked Colonel 
McMahon and your regiment for the work done, and it 
was the only regiment he thanked on that day in the 
whole division. 

" So, when you get back, I will ask you to thank the 
men from me for all they have done." 

Ypres. — General Smith-Dorrien's warning was soon 
fulfilled. On the night of November 6th the battalion 
took over the positions from the 6th Cavalry Brigade, 
east of Hooge, on the south side of the Ypres-Menin road. 
They had some difficulty in reaching their positions as the 
roads about Ypres were blocked with the traffic. But 



THE BATTLE OF YPRES 59 

they settled down on the edge of Herenthage Wood with 
Zouaves on their left and the Northumberland Fusiliers 
on their right. Almost at once the battalion, now so 
weak, became merged in the great crisis of Ypres. 
On November 7th the Zouaves were blown out of their 
trenches. On the following day the shelling continued all 
day, and several minor attacks were beaten off. The most 
serious blow fell upon Y Company, but was dealt with 
summarily. But the Zouaves were forced back, and the 
Germans got into the wood, round the Fusiliers' open flank. 
Stapleton Bretherton and Jackson, with half of Y Company, 
delivered a violent counter-attack and penetrated to the 
German trenches. Very few of these gallant fellows came 
back. The two officers and 62 men were seen no more. 
But, thanks to this charge and the advance of the West 
Ridings, the line was restored. 

On the nth came the last attempt of the Germans to 
cut through to the coast. The attack was expected ; the 
battalion order issued before it took place is notable. 
The order, which was to be read to companies, ran as 
follows : — 

" It may be assumed that we are about to fight the 
decisive battle of the war. The German Emperor has 
arrived to command his troops in person, and Sir John 
French hopes that the British Army will prove to him that 
they are better men than the Germans. Both armies are 
composed of regiments more or less exhausted, and short 
of officers, and the result will depend very much on the 
prolonged energy of every soldier in the fight and the 
endurance shown during the next few days. Fire must be 
carefully controlled at night, men must assist to the last, 
be ready to cover every movement with fire, well aimed 
and well sustained, and there must be no straggling or 
straying from the platoons to which men belong. The 
CO. hopes that every man will sustain the great reputa- 
tion that the Royal Fusiliers have already made during 

this war. 

(Signed) " G. O'Donel, 

" Captain and Adjutant." 



60 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

The morning dawned dull and misty, and about 6.30 
a terrible shelling began, " much the most severe I 
(O'Donel) have ever seen." It continued for two and a 
half hours. The front trenches were knocked to pieces, 
and many of the men were killed or buried. Routley, in 
command, tried to send back a report of the plight of his 
men, but it was impossible to live in such a bombardment. 
Then followed the infantry attack by the twelve battalions 
of the Guard Division. The 4th (Queen Augusta's) Guard 
Grenadiers seem to have struck the Royal Fusiliers, and 
the little band of men received the first assault with the 
bayonet and hurled it back. Routley, about this time, 
was the only officer left, and he was wounded in the head. 
The Grenadiers delivered a second charge. Some of the 
men were driven from their trenches, and their appearance 
in the rear created a panic among the battalion supports, 
who appear to have been chiefly special reservists, a draft 
who arrived on the day before the battle and had not yet 
been organised into their platoons. Colonel McMahon 
went to them and tried to rally them. Suddenly he was 
seen to sink on one knee and begin to remove his legging 
as though hit in the leg. At that moment a shell burst 
close to him and killed him. He was a most gallant and 
distinguished officer, who impressed all who came into 
contact with him. " A Royal Fusilier," he said to the 
battalion on the eve of embarkation, " does not fear 
death. He is not afraid of wounds. He only fears 
disgrace ; and I look to you not to disgrace the name of 
the regiment." Not merely the battalion and the regi- 
ment, but the army as a whole, lost by his death. 

Part of the West Ridings had also been driven from 
their trenches, but a determined counter-attack on both 
sides of the Ypres-Menin road by the Sussex and Scots 
Fusiliers drove the German Guard back with heavy loss 
and partly restored the line. At 1 p.m. the remainder of 
the Royal Fusiliers were very much disorganised and 
scattered. In the evening only O'Donel and Second 
Lieutenant Maclean, with 50 men, could be collected. The 



YPRES, NOVEMBER, 1914 61 

night was very wet, and the fighting died down but little. 
On the following day about 100 men were collected and 
withdrawn, but they were back again in the firing line 
during the evening in support of the Scots Fusiliers and 
Lincolns. On the 13th they were still in support with 
the two officers and 170 men. Next day under German 
pressure they were compelled to retire slightly. On the 
15th, wet and tired out, they were still holding on in the 
rain and snow. But on the following day (November 16th) 
they went into divisional reserve at Hooge. The attack 
by the Imperial Guard had petered out without achieving 
its objective. 

On the 20th they relieved the King's Own Scottish 

Borderers, south of Hooge, in heavy snow ; but on the 

following night they handed over to the French, marched 

to Westoutre through Ypres, and billeted. It was now 

freezing hard, and the men's feet were beginning to suffer. 

At night on the 21st Major Hely Hutchinson arrived to 

take over command, with Captains Lee, Pipon and 

Magnay from the 1st Battalion. A draft of 300 special 

reservists arrived, and companies were reorganised and 

given some training. But on the 27th the battalion had 

to take over the trenches at Kemmel from the Norfolks. 

It was the last test to apply to men so little accustomed to 

warfare ; but the days were critical, and such risks had 

to be taken. Major Hely Hutchinson had to deal with 

some serious cases of nerves, but under his firm hand the 

unit settled down, and spent three days in the trenches. 

On the night of the 30th they were relieved by the Gordons, 

and marched to Westoutre to billets. The trenches had 

been wet, and many of the men had bad feet. Moreover, 

the shortage of N.C.O.'s made discipline a little slack. 

One can hardly wonder at this. The battalion had been 

wiped out twice since the opening of the war. In these 

four months they had lost 1.900 N.C.O.'s and men and 

over 50 officers, killed, wounded, sick, and missing. 

These figures must surely be unique ! At any rate, there 

were not sufficient troops available in these early months 



62 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

to allow more than a few units to renew themselves three 

times. 

* * * * 

The march southwards of the ist Battalion on October 
23rd had taken them once more to within a short distance 
of the 4th, who at that time were withdrawing from the 
advanced positions in the Aubers area. The ist only 
arrived about Fleurbaix at 6 a.m. on the 23rd, very tired 
and sleepy, and on reaching Rue Petillon they were 
accommodated, some in houses and some in ditches. 
Their orders were to support the right of the Welsh 
Fusiliers ; but some Indian troops had arrived there 
first. The Sikhs lost their two British officers on the 
25th, and the Fusiliers found them " jumpy " neighbours. 
A good deal of firing went on, especially during the night, 
and the ist Battalion, after being compelled to stand to 
night after night, at length took over the bulk of their 
trenches. There were heavy losses from the German 
bombardment. But the rhythm of the struggle had 
changed to that of trench warfare. On November 5th 
there were 20 casualties from the persistent shelling. 
Snipers, too, became obtrusive. On the 9th a German shell 
secured a direct hit on a trench. A gunner observer was 
killed and three men were wounded. Sergeant Tuersley 
was wounded in assisting Corporal Taimer, who had been 
hit, but continued to help him though the trench was 
still under fire. Three days later, at about 3.30 a.m., a 
dug-out in which Captain H. J. Shaw was sleeping was 
knocked in, and when the earth was removed he was 
dead. 

The trenches now became ankle and even knee-deep 
in mud. The Germans were only about 150 yards away, 
and they won the approval of the Fusiliers by a rough 
attempt at sportsmanlike behaviour. Frequently they 
would call out, " Hullo, Cock Robin ! " and at night, 
" Look out, you English swine — we're coming ! ' Then a 
volley, followed by " Good-night " and silence. Both 
English and Germans put out targets to fire at, and the 



THE FIRST WINTER 63 

conventions were well observed. It was bitterly cold, 
and fires were lit along the trenches, each side ignoring 
the smoke. While on tour in the trenches on November 
29th coke braziers were issued, and proved very accept- 
able. On the following day sheepskins were supplied. 
The next day saw Very pistols ; and, little by little, all the 
familiar accompaniments of trench warfare appeared. 

The 4th Battalion on December 3rd were lined up on 
the road for the King's visit. After the terrible experi- 
ences of the first four months the year slowed down for 
them. But for the 1st Battalion the trench tours were 
not without incident. They were occupying a position 
with their right on the Rue du Bois, south-east of Armen- 
tieres, when they were ordered to co-operate with the 
attack of the 4th Division east of Ploegsteert on December 
19th. They carried out this role by pinning the enemy 
to his trenches by means of bursts of intermittent fire. 
The Germans retorted with a bombardment, in which 
Captain G. E. Hepburn was wounded and one man killed. 
At about 1.30 p.m. on the 20th a number of shells were 
thrown upon a farm in which were battalion headquarters 
and one platoon. A few sick and some of the headquarters 
staff went into the cellar, while the remainder filed into 
a trench in the rear. It was an anxious moment, and a 
shell went through to the cellar, killing two men and 
wounding eight others. 

Something akin to a truce fell over the armies on 
Christmas Day and the last days of the year. The 
trenches were worse than ever. Parapets fell in, and it 
was found easier to build new trenches than to drain the 
old. The Saxons opposite the 1st Battalion appeared 
to be engaged on the same tasks. In the old days armies 
went into winter quarters. On the Western Front in 
the winter of 1914 they at any rate ceased from major 
military operations. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE FIRST SPRING CAMPAIGN — NEUVE CHAPELLE, YPRES 

Early in January of 1915 Lieut. -Colonel Campbell took 
over the command of the 4th Battalion, who suffered 
much both from the inclemency of the weather and 
from avoidable hardships. The trenches were almost 
intolerable through mud and water ; and in the rest area 
near Ouderdom, early in March, owing to the huts not 
being rainproof, the camp became a sea of mud, and 
afforded little or no rest to its victims. They also suffered 
from the enemy snipers, the battalion losing no less than 
58 men within forty-eight hours from hostile rifle fire on 
February 23rd. They had, however, the distinction of 
being thanked in person by General Sir H. Smith-Dorrien 
on March 8th for saving the situation at Ypres. 

Previous to this their brigade (the 9th) had been 
transferred to the 28th Division to replace the 85th 
Brigade, a considerable number of whom went sick after 
scarcely ten days in the firing line. Of these the 3rd Royal 
Fusiliers had been not a little affected by the vagaries 
of climate, having only arrived from India in December. 
They lost temporarily about 25 per cent, of their 
strength owing to acute bronchial and laryngeal catarrh 
on their arrival at Havre, and large numbers had to be 
evacuated to hospital with trench feet during February. 
But, with the number of those who returned to duty at 
the beginning of March and several large drafts, the 
battalion attained the fighting strength of 25 officers and 
870 other ranks by March 10th. 

Neuve Chapelle. — The 3rd Londons had reached 
France in January, and on February 17th found them- 
selves with the Garhwal Brigade of the Meerut Division 







^5* «? 




Major-General Sir Reginald Pinney, K.C.B., who commanded 

the 23RD Brigade at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, and 

later the 35TH and 33RD Divisions. 



THE TERRITORIALS AT NEUVE CHAPELLE 65 

at Vieille Chapelle. They were the only Fusilier battalion 
to be engaged in the operations against and around Neuve 
Chapelle. On March 10th they supported the advance 
of the 2nd Leinsters in the Meerut Division's attack on 
the south of the village. 

A deviation of i/39th Garhwal Rifles to the right caused 
that regiment to encounter the enemy's line beyond the 
part where the wire had been destroyed by our artillery 
fire, and in this fashion a gap of some 200 yards was left 
unaccounted for, with the result that the Germans with 
the aid of machine guns maintained a steady resistance at 
this point, which was finally reduced about 6 o'clock in 
the evening. 

The way in which that point was won will not easily be 
forgotten by the 3rd Londons. The battalion were in brigade 
reserve, and by 3.30 a.m. had taken up position behind a 
long breastwork, in the rear of the trenches along the 
Estaires-La Bassee road. The country still looked beautiful 
as the day broke. It was snowing a little, but the fearful 
din of the bombardment put every other thought out of the 
heads of these young soldiers as they lay huddled up behind 
their sandbags for their first battle experience. The roars 
and barks of the guns were accompanied by the easily 
distinguishable ping of the bullets. At 8.5 a.m. the 
infantry advanced and the 3rd Londons moved up to the 
forward trenches to take their place. Two companies 
went forward to support the left of the attack, and the 
other two proceeded to a circular breastwork, on the right 
of the trench line, known as " Port Arthur." 

It was about 8.30 a.m. that the first two companies 
advanced with the 1st Seaforths and a company of the 
Garhwal Rifles to support the left flank. A Company was 
ordered to take a house at the corner of the village, which 
was reported to have a garrison of about twelve Germans. 
The order was given to charge and the men at once came 
under a terrible fire. There were, in fact, almost a com- 
plete company of Germans well provided with machine 
guns. Captain Pulman fell almost at once with about 



66 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

ten or a dozen men. There was a momentary hesitation 
in the rest of the company. Lieutenant Mathieson, one 
of the gayest and best beloved of their officers, then 
pushed forward, shouting, with his infectious smile, 
" Come on, boys ; don't be shy ! " Few, except those in 
his immediate neighbourhood could hear him. But they 
saw the gesture and sprang forward. In a few seconds he 
fell, shot through the head, and died almost immediately. 
They lost indeed terribly, but somehow they won through 
and helped on the battle a little. 

The other two companies remained in " Port Arthur," 
the ruined part-skeleton of some farm building, buttressed 
with walls of earth and sandbags, with machine guns 
mounted upon them. At 2 p.m. only one officer had 
escaped in A Company ; and at 5 p.m. the order came that 
this obdurate German trench that made a gap in the line 
must be taken. The men climbed over the breastwork 
in full view of the enemy to cross some 200 yards of open 
country, pitted by shells and strewn with dead, in a frontal 
charge on the German position. With bayonets at the 
charge they rushed across the open, cheering as they went. 
Lieutenant Crichton was one of the first in the open and, 
stepping in front of his platoon, he cried, " Follow me." 
He fell after a few yards, shot in the leg. One or two men 
ran to help him, but he struggled to his feet and, shouting 
" Charge ! " went on again. He was wounded again, this 
time mortally. Half the men who went across that space 
became casualties. Men fell on all sides, but the charge 
continued, and at length they rushed the German trench 
and the gap was healed. " It was the finest charge I ever 
saw," said an Indian officer. After the charge the wounded 
trickled back to " Port Arthur," where the colonel and 
another officer attended to them. One of these wounded 
boys said to his officer with a smile, " They can't call us 
Saturday night soldiers now, can they, sir ? " 

Captains Livingston and Moore remained in the cap- 
tured position for four days, and had to repel a German 
counter-attack. It was during this period that Acting- 



NEUVE CHAPELLE, MARCH, 1915 67 

Sergeant W. Allen won the D.C.M. He was out on a 
reconnoitring patrol on the night of March 13th and dis- 
covered three small bridges laid down by the enemy for 
their advance. These he removed, which caused the 
Germans to be held up in their counter-attack, when they 
were met by machine guns. This action was a splendid 
opening of the Londons' fighting. The 3rd Londons lost 
8 officers and 340 other ranks, but they had won their 
spurs. 

The 4th Londons went into the trenches at Rue des 
Berceaux for the first time on the night of March I2th/i3th 
and their admirable conduct under most trying conditions 
in a totally novel experience won the appreciation of 
Major-General H. 0. N. Keary, commanding the Lahore 
Division, while visiting the battalion headquarters at 

Vieille Chapelle some four days later. 

« * * * 

It was about this time that the 3rd Royal Fusiliers were in 
the trenches east of Kemmel. Orders had been given that 
considerable activity had to be shown by the troops in 
the trenches. It is probable that no soldier ever welcomed 
this order. Attacks are intelligible, but " hates " merely 
meant counter-hates. The role of this activity was to 
occupy and preoccupy the Germans during the attack at 
Neuve Chapelle, but it resulted, as was foreseen, in the 
Fusiliers' positions being badly knocked about. On the 
night of March 9th battalion headquarters were shelled 
and burned. Official correspondence, a machine gun, 
rifles and eighty sets of equipment were destroyed. It 
was on this occasion that Lieut. -Colonel Guy du Maurier, 
D.S.O., was killed. Lance-Corporal Fovargue, who was 
at headquarters at the time, stated that they were asleep 
when a shell suddenly tore off part of the roof. The colonel 
rushed to the doorway, and just as he reached it a shell 
fell on the spot and killed him instantly. Colonel du 
Maurier was not only an experienced soldier, but also a 
dramatist who made a stir with the war play "An English- 
man's Home." He was the elder son of Mr. George du 



F 2 



68 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Maurier, the famous black and white artist, and brother 
of Mr. Gerald du Maurier the artist. Lieut. -Colonel A. V. 
Johnson, D.S.O.,took over the command of the battalion, 
who next saw service in the Ypres area. They took over 
trenches from the French with parapets not more than a 
foot thick at the top ; " death traps " as a Fusilier officer 
aptly termed them. 

Second Battle of Ypres. — On April 20th they 
moved into the Gravenstafel trenches on the left of the 
28th Division. It was not their first visit ; and on the 
last occasion they had suffered 72 casualties. On their 
left were the Canadians with the French prolonging the 
line to the north. The 3rd Battalion reached the trenches 
when it was obvious a German attack was pending. The 
bombardment of Ypres had begun. Its destruction could 
only mean that the enemy were blocking the avenues by 
which supports must reach the Ypres sector, and accord- 
ingly the command looked for an attack in the general 
direction from which, in fact, it came. But its onset was 
so unlike any previous assault that for some days the 
position was critical, and the Royal Fusiliers went through 
a period of unique strain. On the evening of April 22nd 
the Germans first released gas on the Western Front, and 
the poisonous green cloud swept away part of the French 
line on the Canadians' flank. As there was a four-mile gap 
in the line the Canadians refused their left. On the 23rd 
this flank was becoming more and more involved ; and a 
counter-attack was launched east of the Ypres Canal. 
Lieut. -Colonel Arthur Percival Birchall, an officer of the 
Fusiliers commanding the 4th Ontario Battalion, fell in 
this gallant attempt to redeem a lost position. The 
battalion came under a very heavy fire and appeared to 
waver. Birchall, carrying a light cane, with great calm- 
ness and cheerfulness rallied his men, but at the moment 
when he had succeeded he was shot dead. He had twice 
been wounded, but insisted on continuing with his com- 
mand, and he died at the beginning of the last charge 
which captured the German shelter trenches and, at least 



SECOND YPRES, APRIL, 1915 69 

for the moment, arrested the advance. He was recom- 
mended for the Victoria Cross. 

The 3rd Canadian Brigade, on the left flank, was now 
bent back almost at right angles and they lay in this 
position when, after a violent bombardment on the 
morning of April 24th, the Germans delivered a second 
gas attack. It was about 3.30 a.m. ; and the 3rd Brigade, 
gassed for a second time, fell back to the south-west of 
St. Julien. The 2nd Brigade, on their right, swung round 
to conform, and the 3rd Royal Fusiliers were now left 
almost at the angle of the line. Attempts were made to 
restore the position, but to little purpose ; and on April 
25th the Germans attacked the 2nd East Surreys on the 
Fusiliers' right. The 3rd Battalion helped to repel this 
attack with their machine guns.* 

On April 26th the 1st Hants came up to establish 
connection on the left of the Royal Fusiliers, and the 
2nd Buffs carried out a partial relief ; but in spite of all 
the Germans penetrated to the left rear of the Royal 
Fusiliers. The battalion's position was almost intolerable. 
Even after the Germans were ejected they were " absolutely 
plastered with shell and every other kind of fire from three 
sides at once the whole time, with practically no assistance 
at all from our guns, and nothing could exist or move over 
the ground in rear, as every yard of it was plastered with- 
out ceasing by enormous shells." f 

Late on the afternoon of May 2nd strong bodies of the 
enemy had been observed moving from Passchendaele 
towards the left trenches, which from that time onwards 
suffered very severe bombardment, parts, indeed, being 
blown to pieces, necessitating their evacuation. Between 
April 22nd and May 3rd, when the line was ordered to 
retire, the 3rd Royal Fusiliers had had Lieutenant H. M. 
Legge, Second Lieutenants A. Hyam, G. Lambert, 
W. Grady, F. Franklin and W. Dunnington- Jefferson and 

* " Great slaughter was caused by a machine gun of the 3rd Royal 
Fusiliers, under Lieutenant Mallandain " (Conan Doyle, " The British 
Campaign in France and Flanders," Vol. II., p. 64). 

f An officer's statement. 



70 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

ioo N.C.O.'s and men killed, 13 officers wounded, and 
363 additional casualties among the other ranks. But 
they had clung to their position under the most desperate 
conditions and had not given a yard of ground until the 
whole line was ordered to fall back. 

On the evening of May 3rd the battalion moved back 
to bivouac in the wood north of Vlamertinghe-Poperinghe 
road, where they were inspected by General Bulfin (the 
Divisional Commander) on May 4th. At noon on the 8th 
they were ordered to support an attack made by East 
Surreys and the 3rd Middlesex between Verlorenhoek road 
and Railway to regain some trenches lost in that vicinity. 
The battalion took no more active participation on this 
occasion than that of being the victim of perpetual sniping 
from their front and right. 

However, on the 12th, reinforced by several large 
drafts, they were relieved by Leicester Yeomanry and 
moved back to bivouac in a wood east of Poperinghe, 
having lost Second Lieutenants W. Curwen and A. Ford, 
with 40 N.C.O.'s and men killed ; and there were 3 officers 
and 141 other ranks additional casualties during the four 
days of active support. 

In the severe losses they suffered the 3rd Royal Fusiliers 
experienced this consolation, that they were highly 
complimented by the Commander-in-Chief and Brigade 
on May 20th, for their services and operations extending 

from April 22nd to May 13th. 

* * * * 

The 4th Londons had meanwhile made a forced march 

to Ouderdom on April 25th, and delivered an attack in 
support of the Connaught Rangers at St. Jean, an effort 
which was unsuccessful owing to the poisonous gas 
employed by the enemy. On the following day the 
4th Londons made another gallant attempt, this time upon 
the right flank ; but also unsuccessfully. They sustained 
heavy losses, Lieutenant Coates and 32 other ranks being 
killed, 7 officers wounded and 165 additional casualties to 

N.C.O.'s and men. 

* # # * 



SPRING CAMPAIGN, 1915 71 

Aubers Ridge and Festubert. — Meanwhile an 
attempt was being made by the First Army to engage the 
enemy in the locality adjoining the scene of the Neuve 
Chapelle operations. The first part of the operations 
began on May 9th and the main advance was made 
towards Fromelles. 

On May 8th the 1st Londons had moved to assembly 
positions south of the Rue Petillon with A and B Companies 
on the right and C and D on the left. On the following 
day, after an artillery bombardment of the German wiring 
and trenches, the leading platoons of A and C Companies 
advanced from their assembly positions only to be recalled 
by the Brigadier. At 6.10 a.m., however, the battalion 
advance * was resumed, being carried out by platoon rushes 
during which the right half of the battalion alone lost 3 
officers and 120 men, most of which casualties occurred 
before the river Layes was reached. At half-past seven 
information was received that Brig. -General Lowry Cole 
had been killed, and an hour and a half later the battalion 
was ordered to withdraw to the cross-roads at Rue du 
Quesnes, from which they were directed to return to 
billets at Bac St. Maur, having lost in the operations 
Captain G. M. D. Mouat and Lieutenant R. G. B. Bowen 
killed, Lieutenant J. Seaverns, died of wounds, Captain 
A. A. Lyle and Lieutenant H. J. Boyton wounded and 
194 other ranks casualties. 

The 3rd Londons took part in the second advance which 
was made, farther to the south, east of Festubert. The 
Londons co-operated with their former companions, the 
2nd Leinsters and Garhwal Rifles, in an unsuccessful 
attack on May 16th on the enemy's trenches not far from 
the scene of their previous enterprises, and in consequence 
remained in trenches south of Neuve Chapelle, with their 
headquarters on the Rue du Bois. 

* * * * 

* " They advanced over 400 yards of open with the steadiness of 
veterans " (Conan Doyle, " The British Campaign in France and 
Flanders," Vol. II., p. 119). 



72 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Bellewarde Ridge. — Meanwhile, before Ypres there 
had been a ten days' lull in the fighting ; but on May 24th 
the enemy delivered a gas attack. This was the worst 
discharge of all. Five miles away, at Dickebusch, the 
4th Battalion experienced its effects, many men suffering 
from sore eyes. 

It was a perfect summer day and the light north- 
easterly breeze just after dawn carried the poisonous fumes 
across the British lines between Shell-trap Farm, north 
of the St. Julien road, and Bellewarde Lake. The surprise 
gained the enemy a considerable advantage, and, as the 
men were searching for their respirators there began a 
violent bombardment. It was a terrible experience, 
waking to this inferno ; and some of the troops left their 
trenches. The 3rd Battalion were at this time lying south 
of the Ypres-Roulers railway, and they at once found 
themselves not only obliged to cope with the poisonous 
fumes and the terrible bombardment, but also with the 
uncovering of their left flank, where the troops had left 
the trenches. Half of No. 2 Company, under Second 
Lieutenants Sealy and Holleny, were sent to occupy the 
abandoned trenches north of the railway. Both officers 
were killed later in the day. After 5 a.m. telephone 
communication with brigade headquarters ceased, and 
though constantly repaired it was as persistently broken 
again by shell fire. Nos. 1 and 4 Companies were also 
cut off from battalion headquarters, and the battle line 
appeared to fall to pieces with small islands of steadfast 
troops alone standing in the way of the German advance. 

Major Johnson received a message from brigade head- 
quarters ordering him to counter-attack. Two companies 
of the Buffs were to support, and the East Surreys were to 
co-operate north of the railway. The remainder of No. 2 
Company and certain stragglers at once prepared to 
advance against the ridge from the road 200 yards south 
of the railway crossing; and at the same time a half 
company of the Buffs moved up the sunken road south of 
the wood, close to the level crossing. Major Baker crossed 



BELLEWARDE FIGHTING, MAY, 1915 73 

the railway and sent forward the other half of No. 2 Com- 
pany under Lieutenant Sealy with orders to make good the 
old trench line 350 yards to the east. 

But now disaster began to crowd upon disaster. Major 
Johnson's attack had not been successful, and he was 
wounded and had to go to the dressing station. Major 
Baker collected Major Johnson's party in the wood south 
of the railway and placed them in the third line trenches. 
But before the Fusiliers had taken up position the Ger- 
mans had worked round to the south of Ridge 44 and were 
enfilading the road south of the railway. Baker now got 
together some of his men and placed them in the ditch on 
this road, from which position they could return the 
German fire with less disadvantage. The Buffs' reinforce- 
ments sent up were so thinned out by shell fire that when 
the various small parties were collected they totalled only 
200 ; but they were a useful reinforcement. The immediate 
danger was the Germans' turning movement on the right, 
and the Buffs extended the line south of the road as a 
counter manoeuvre. 

The Germans had been in possession of our fire trenches 
since 8 a.m., but the surviving 150 (out of an original 880) 
Royal Fusiliers, with the assistance of the Buffs, succeeded 
in holding the third line to the end of the day. A party of 
Durham Light Infantry filled up the 300 yards' gap 
between the Royal Fusiliers, north of the railway, and the 
East Surreys. To complete the chronicle of disaster the 
84th and 80th Brigades attacked that night, but, after 
a bitter and prolonged struggle, nothing further was 
achieved than a final checking of the German onslaught. 
A restoration of the original position had proved impossible, 
and the 3rd Royal Fusiliers were relieved and left the line. 

In the final summing up the Germans had only produced 
a surface abrasion on the positions for which the Fusiliers 
had so obstinately fought. Almost from the beginning 
their plight seemed hopeless. The gas, where it did no 
worse, made the men incapable of all effort ; and yet the 
time had come for a super-human effort. They had to make 



74 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

good the defection on the left and, thus weakened, bear 

a heavy onslaught from the Germans, and finally make a 

deliberate counter-attack. By 8 a.m. Major Baker was 

not only commanding officer ; he was the only officer left 

out of seventeen. At the end of the day the battalion 

casualties amounted to 536. This was probably the 

worst loss in a day's battle of any Fusilier battalion 

during the war. 

* * * * 

First attack on Bellewarde. — At the end of May 

the Germans were left in possession of Bellewarde Lake, 
and they established positions which made an uncom- 
fortable sag in the Ypres salient. The 3rd Division was 
given the task of effecting a local straightening of the line 
in this area, and the 9th Brigade was selected to storm the 
Bellewarde Farm Ridge. 

The 4th Royal Fusiliers were in position, east of Cam- 
bridge Road trench, at 1.30 a.m. on June 16th, on the right 
of the brigade front. Immediately in front of them lay 
the wood with a trench guarding its western edge. At 
2.50 a.m. the artillery bombardment began, and two hours 
later two companies advanced in half-company column 
and captured the front German line without much resist- 
ance, the wire having been so effectually cut that no 
difficulty was experienced by our infantry in climbing 
through it and scaling the enemy parapet. In some places 
the wire was swept away as though it had never been. 
Dead and wounded were lying about ; and the unwounded 
appeared to have been demoralised by our shell fire — a 
welcome change — into surrender. 

On the right the two supporting companies of the 4th 
Battalion pushed through the wood to the trench on the 
west bank of Bellewarde Lake. But they advanced too 
quickly for our artillery and suffered very heavily, despite 
every attempt to correct the range by coloured screens. 
At 10 a.m. the brigadier of the 7th Brigade had taken com- 
mand ; and he ordered Major Hely Hutchinson to go into 
the wood which had been just captured by the battalion 



HEAVY FIGHTING, JUNE, 1915 75 

and organise the men who remained. This was imme- 
diately done. 

But the bombardment by our own and the enemy's 
artillery was too much, and after considerable loss the 
4th Battalion withdrew to a communication trench which 
had been turned into a fire trench by Captain de la 
Perrelle. This position was held against all counter- 
attacks until in the early part of the afternoon orders were 
received to retire. 

All the day the battalion was under heavy artillery fire, 
and during the afternoon gas shells were used freely ; but the 
men's behaviour was very fine. Lance-Corporal Filter and 
Sergeant Jones were both wounded, but remained at their 
machine guns until sent to the dressing station. Sergeant 
H. T. Smith very bravely bandaged two wounded men 
and carried them to cover, all under heavy fire ; and 
Private A. Beckett was killed while assisting a wounded 
comrade along a trench. Private McGee was wounded in 
two places, but continued to carry messages through the 
shell-swept area until sent to the dressing station by his 
captain. Indeed, the battle was full of heroic deeds, but 
at the end of the day only a handful of ground remained in 
the hands of the battalion of all that had been taken in 
that first eager rush, and the losses had been all too heavy. 
Of the 22 officers and 820 men who entered battle some 
15 officers and 376 men became casualties. Captain and 
Adjutant O'Donel, who had been with the battalion from 
their arrival in France, was killed. Lieutenants Thornton, 
Harter, Warde and Rogers, with Second Lieutenants 
Dudley and Banister, were also killed. Major Hely 
Hutchinson was badly wounded and Captain de la 
Peverelle took over the command of the battalion. 

The day's fighting had been a very terrible experience, 
though the divisional commander congratulated the 
battalion, and General Allenby talked to the men in groups 
on the 1 8th and told them they had done the finest bit of 
work in the campaign. 



CHAPTER V 

THE SUMMER OPERATIONS — LOOS 

As the spring wore on to summer a number of new 
Royal Fusilier battalions made their way to France, so 
that at the opening of the battle of Loos there were nine 
Regular and Service battalions on the Western Front. 
They settled down very easily, and showed every eagerness 
to get to grips with the enemy. At first many things had 
the charm of novelty. When, on July 29th, the 8th 
Battalion exploded a mine in front of Frelinghem and a 
trench mortar threw twenty 60 lb. bombs into the German 
trenches, this formed a wonderful episode. It was the 
first occasion on which a trench mortar had been used on 
the battalion front, and it excited great interest. The 
retaliation was even more engrossing, and a little dis- 
turbing, too. On August 9th the Germans exploded a 
mine and began a very heavy bombardment. Over 
4,000 rounds from five batteries fell on the battalion front. 
The artillery were asked to reply, and 147 rounds were 
fired. The trench parapet was blown in, and Second 
Lieutenant Allen and C.S.M. Perkins gallantly dug out 
Lieutenant Chell, who had been buried by the mine 
explosion, though they were completely in the open and 
under heavy fire. The rest of the morning appears to have 
been occupied by answering indignant expostulations 
from the artillery about the reason for causing such a huge 
expenditure of ammunition ! But Brig. -General Borrow- 
dale later congratulated the battalion on their soldierly 
bearing in this episode. It was all very characteristic of 
the period. 

On August 18th another typical incident occurred. 



TWELFTH BATTALION'S ORDEAL 77 

The 10th Battalion, who had only been in France some 

eighteen days, were attached to the 8th for instruction in 

the trenches. 

During the early autumn the 1st Battalion remained in 

the neighbourhood of Ypres, and the 4th was involved in 

the operations about Hooge, which seemed ever to be 

bubbling with activity. On September 29th the battalion 

exploded a mine under a German trench, and the night 

was occupied by a great bombing battle. 

* * * * 

Loos. — But in the meantime the army had launched 
the battle of Loos, which, waged with intensity for some 
days, set up ripples throughout the area for over a month. 
The attack was elaborately staged and, in order to conceal 
its exact dimensions, smoke clouds were released over an 
extensive sector of the British front. This led to an 
amusing incident. The 8th Battalion, still lying near 
Houplines, had been ordered to light smoke fires along 
their front at 4.30 a.m. on the morning of the attack. 
At 4.15 this order was cancelled, and directions were given 
to raise the smoke cloud at 5.30. The 40th Division, on 
the right of the 8th Battalion, kept to the original order, 
and about 5.0 a.m. voices from the German trenches 
inquired when the 8th Battalion were going to light their 
straw ! 

It was, however, the 12th Battalion, the last to arrive 
in France, who were the first to be involved in the battle 
of Loos. They formed part of the 73rd Brigade of the 
24th Division, one of the two reserve units which Sir 
John French had kept in hand " to ensure the speedy and 
effective support of the I. and IV. Corps in case of their 
success." They had only arrived in France on September 
1st, and they reached Beuvry on the 24th by a succession 
of tiring marches, with sick cases reported every day up 
to the 22nd. They had not yet become acclimatised to 
the realities of war. They had had no trench experience. 
Beuvry lies about four miles from Vermelles as the crow 
flies : but when it is remembered that at times a battalion 



78 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

took five hours to travel a mile, and that these roads were 
packed with traffic, this short distance will be appreciated 
as a considerable undertaking. The 73rd was the leading 
brigade, and on the approach march they were detached 
and led off by a staff officer to the neighbourhood of 
Fosse 8, perhaps the hottest corner of the Loos battle 
area. 

This only skims the surface of the 12th Battalion's 
difficulties. Colonel C. J. Stanton was destined for a 
brigade, and he was summoned on September 25th to 
divisional headquarters. He handed over to Major 
R. D. Garnons-Williams, who was ordered to the front 
line to relieve the Black Watch, who had suffered 
heavily in the morning attack. There had been no time 
for preliminary reconnaissance. The troops were quite 
new to the area, and in the confusion of marching up the 
battalion became split up. Garnons-Williams, with a 
platoon of No. 1 and the whole of No. 2 Company, carried 
out the relief , and so came to a position where the advance 
had been most bitterly resisted and the gain was still not 
admitted to be final. From their entry into the trenches 
until they left them on the morning of the 28th, the 
battalion was continually under shell fire. In the 
mornings and evenings the trenches were attacked. The 
battalion, while subjected to this unique ordeal, had no 
rations, no water, no sleep. They had arrived without 
bombs, yet they beat off every enemy attack until the 
morning of the 28th, when, after a heavy bombardment, 
the flanking battalions were attacked and a footing was 
gained in the trench on the battalion's right and left. 
Their position was now hopeless, and, under an attack 
from both flanks, they were forced to retire. But they 
went back fighting. Lieutenant Neynor organised and 
led four bayonet charges as they retired, and the enemy 
was driven back. 

Meanwhile the other part of the battalion, under Major 
H. W. Compton, endeavouring to regain touch, had 
halted in the dark. When the moon came out they were 



HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT, SEPTEMBER, 1915 79 

at once seen, and shelled in the open. They took cover 
in some trenches, and waited for the dawn. On the 
morning of the 26th they were placed by a staff officer in 
the old British firing line, where they remained until the 
28th, when they were relieved. The battalion's losses 
had been very heavy. Major Garnons- Williams, Captains 
Waddell and Phillips, Second Lieutenant Newcombe 
were killed. Major Gibson and five other officers were 
wounded. Two officers fell into the hands of the Germans. 
Of other ranks 20 were killed, 27 wounded, 64 wounded 
and missing, and 142 missing. The test to which they 
were subjected one would say was too hard ; but, bearing 
in mind the manner in which they bore the ordeal, it is 
inevitable we should wonder if any test could be over- 
hard for such troops. 

The 3rd Battalion entered the battle when the 12th 
were near the end of their ordeal. On the evening of 
September 25th Fosse 8 lay in our hands, and Hohen- 
zollern Redoubt lay behind our lines ; but on the morning 
of the 27th Fosse 8, which, with its slag heap, commanded 
Hohenzollern Redoubt, had reverted to the Germans, 
and the redoubt itself was mainly held by the enemy. 
On this day the 3rd Battalion were ordered to take over 
some 700 yards of the German line north of the redoubt, 
with the Buffs on their right. But as the line was at that 
moment again in German hands, verbal orders were given 
to company commanders at 2 a.m. to attack the redoubt 
at once. No. 2 Company was upon the right, and No. 3 
on the left, with Nos. 1 and 4 supporting, and the machine 
gunners on the flanks. The battalion moved off, preceded 
by General Pereira (85th Brigade), who was hit during the 
afternoon, when the command of the brigade devolved 
upon Colonel Roberts. The trenches were congested with 
men wounded and men retiring, but Colonel Roberts 
succeeded in leading No. 2 Company and half No. 1 
Company into the redoubt, when, having placed them 
on the south and south-east sides, he retired to brigade 
headquarters. Major Baker took command of the 



80 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

battalion, and between 6 p.m. and midnight he succeeded 
in placing the battalion on three sides of the redoubt, the 
East Surreys occupying the other. The operation was 
carried out with great difficulty. The units were mixed. 
There were no guides, and in the dark it was hard to 
recognise the positions. 

During the morning of the 28th the enemy attacked 
the north face with bombs, but were repulsed by No. 3 
Company. Another bombing attack followed an advance 
of the Buffs and Middlesex. On this occasion the Germans 
penetrated some distance up the south face, but were 
eventually driven back by three platoons of No. 2 Com- 
pany. The following morning the enemy bombed down 
Little Willie, the trench leading north from the redoubt, 
and the north face of the redoubt itself. They were only 
forced back after a fierce struggle, in which No. 4 Company 
had reinforced the East Surreys. No. 2 Company, after 
attempting to straighten out the line by an advance along 
the southern face, was caught in the most violent attack 
of all. The Middlesex, who had been holding Big Willie, 
the eastern limb of the redoubt, evacuated it, and No. 2 
Company found its flank in the air. The Germans 
bombed down the western face, and drove No. 2 Company 
back almost to the head of the communication trench. 
There a counter-attack was delivered by a company of 
the Yorks and Lanes, and finally, after heavy loss, Nos. 2 
and 4 Companies drove the Germans out of the western 
face and Big Willie, and blocked the southern face. As 
far as the 3rd Battalion goes, this disposition survived 
attack. On the morning and afternoon of the 30th 
bombing attacks along the southern face were all repulsed. 
Captain Sutton arranged stores of bombs along the 
western face and relief bombers, to be despatched to any 
point as needed. At 4 a.m. the following morning the 
battalion was relieved. They marched to Beuvry much 
weaker than they set out. Captain R. S. Scholefield, 
Lieutenant G. Murray Smith, Second Lieutenants S. W. 
Bowes, J. E. Bull, G. H. L. Ohlmann and J. V. C. Batten 



HULLOCH, SEPTEMBER— OCTOBER, 1915 Si 

had been killed, and 12 other officers wounded. Among 

other ranks the casualties totalled 337. 

* * # * 

On September 30th the 8th Battalion relieved the Irish 
Guards in trenches captured from the Germans on the 
25th in front of Hulloch. The following day there was 
very heavy shelling by both sides. The British shelling 
made it impossible to carry out the order to dig a jumping- 
off trench in front of B Company's trench. For the latter, 
and the ground in front of it, were constantly under our 
own shrapnel, as the battery had had orders to prevent the 
Germans from wiring this ground ! The 9th Battalion had 
occupied neighbouring trenches on September 30th, and 
both battalions, after a few days out of the trenches, 
moved up again on October 13th. The 9th Battalion, on 
this occasion, arrived at the German old line at 10.30 p.m., 
after having taken nearly five hours to cover about a mile. 
The 35th Brigade had attacked that day, and the 8th at 
night had two companies carrying bombs for them, the 
other two being in trenches north of the Hulloch road in 
support of the 37th Brigade. 

Another small attack was delivered by troops of the 
same division on October 18th. A German trench west 
of the Quarries was attacked by the Essex and the 9th 
Battalion supported with two squads of bombers under 
Second Lieutenant W. W. Smith. The detachment 
undoubtedly consumed a large supply of bombs, and the' 
attack was successful. The trench was captured and con- 
solidated. A and B Companies were in the fire trenches, 
and the battalion were responsible for Pt. 54, with the 
support of the Berks. At night the 9th were pleased to 
receive a message from the Guards saying, " Well done, 
neighbours. Many thanks for splendid co-operation." 

The Essex were not left in undisturbed possession of 
their gains. On the following day there was a sharp 
attack on the captured trench. The bombardment began 
at 7 a.m., and the new trench came under a concentrated 
fire about 3.30. Shortly afterwards an attack developed 



82 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

on the line of the 9th Battalion, and the 8th sent up 

32 bombers under Second Lieutenants Oliver and Barrow. 

Oliver was killed and Barrow wounded, but they had 

assisted in beating off the attack. A more serious mishap 

was the wounding of Lieut. -Colonel Anneslcy while he 

was directing the 8th to " stand to." 

* * * * 

But the battle had by this time practically died down, 
and the battlefield sank into that uneasy state of rest 
which covered the whole line. Winter had come, and the 
new battalions had time to grow accustomed to the 
realities of the war. Many of them amused themselves 
by erecting notice-boards near the German trenches when 
any particularly heartening piece of news was available. 
Thus, on December 10th the 10th Battalion placed a large 
notice-board with a report of a peace demonstration in 
Berlin on the German wire. Three months later the 
enemy retaliated with a German cartoon showing a 
Highlander gathering the German harvest. On the back 
was written " Come on and let us have drink at Doberitz, 
the newest British colony." This was found, neatly 
wrapped in oilskin near the battalion's wire ; but, unfortu- 
nately, the postmen were shot. 

The Chord. — By this time, however, local actions had 
begun, and in two of them the Royal Fusiliers were 
engaged. The first was the action on March 2nd, 1916, 
at the Hohenzollern Redoubt, and was carried out by the 
8th and 9th Battalions. The objective was The Chord, 
joining Big Willie and Little Willie. At 5.45 p.m. the 
8th Battalion, on the left (or north), exploded three mines 
and the 9th four. The largest of the latter ("A") was 
intended to wreck the bulk of The Chord, but it only 
affected about one-third of its length. The trench mortars 
and artillery were to have begun simultaneously, but the 
former began half an hour and the latter a quarter of an 
hour earlier. Immediately after the explosion of the 
mines 50 men of A Company of the 8th Battalion, under 
Captain A. K. K. Mason and Second Lieutenant Wardrop, 



HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT, MARCH, 1916 83 

and 5o'men of B Company of the 9th, under Captain the 
Hon. R. E. Philipps, rushed across and seized the part of 
The Chord allotted to them. Twenty of Philipps' party were 
buried through the explosion of the mine blowing in part 
of the assembly trench, and Philipps was slightly wounded 
in the face. But the men went forward rapidly and either 
cut through the wire or went over it where it was covered 
by the earth cast up by the explosion. Of the party of 
the 8th Battalion, only Wardrop and one man reached 
The Chord, the rest being either killed or wounded. 
Captain Mason was killed, but reinforcements were sent 
out, and A Company, though bombed along The Chord to 
within thirty yards of "A," where they found contact with 
the 9th Battalion, held to the position. Major Cope * 
took 24 men up to Wardrop, and the position was held for 
the rest of the day. Meanwhile C Company, under Chard, 
had seized Crater " C," the northernmost, and A Company 
had taken "B" Crater, on the right of "C." Thus all 
the craters had been occupied according to plan, but there 
was still a body of Germans holding out in The Chord. 

The 9th Battalion had, in the meantime, seized their 
objectives. They found many Germans in their sector 
of The Chord who, though dazed, did not surrender and 
consequently had to be killed. There followed a number 
of fierce grenade fights, the Germans rushing down from 
the north end of The Chord and along the trenches leading 
from the east into it. C Company, under Major N. B. 
Elliott-Cooper, rushed Craters Nos. 1, 2 and " A" ; and then 
seized the crater in the Triangle. The grenade attack 
on the right lost direction, and Sergeant Cronyn rushed 
down the south-east face of the Triangle into Big Willie, 
throwing grenades into the crowded dug-outs, until held 
up by a party of Germans. A fierce grenade encounter 
followed until the Triangle was consolidated. The 8th 
had to call on the supporting battalion before the day 
was over, but the craters were held against enemy bombing 
attacks during the night. 

* Major Cope and Colonel Annesley were both granted the D.S.O. 

G 2 



84 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Though both battalions lost heavily, the operation on 
the whole had been most successful. On the part of the 
9th Battalion it had been particularly so, and Lieut. - 
Colonel Gubbins was awarded the D.S.O., Major Elliott- 
Cooper, Captain the Hon. R. E. Philipps and Lieutenant 
E. W. T. Beck the M.C. ; Sergeant Cronyn, Lance-Corporal 
A. Lowrey and Private Mcintosh received the D.C.M. The 
battalion also received warm congratulations from General 
Gough, G.O.C. I. Corps ; General Scott, G.O.C. 12th 
Division ; and from Brigadier-General Boyd Moss, G.O.C. 
36th Brigade. Both battalions were mentioned in 
Sir Douglas Haig's despatch of May 12th, 1916. 

St. Eloi. — A more imposing operation was that carried 
out by the 4th Battalion with the 1st Northumberland 
Fusiliers on March 27th. This attack was described in 
the despatch of May 12th, and in the published edition of 
the despatches it is illustrated by a plan. The object was 
to straighten " out the line at St. Eloi," and cut " away 
the small German salient which encroached on the semi- 
circle of our line in the Ypres salient to a depth of about 
100 yards over a front of some 600 yards. The operation 
was begun by the firing of six very large mines ; the charge 
was so heavy that the explosion was felt in towns several 
miles behind the lines, and large numbers of the enemy 
were killed. Half a minute after the explosion our 
infantry attack was launched, aiming at the German 
second line." * The right attack by the Northumberland 
Fusiliers met with little opposition ; but the 4th Royal 
Fusiliers fared very differently. 

The attackf was launched at 4.15 a.m., with W and X 

* Despatch. 

f There is little use in amplifying this account. The episode seems, 
on calm reflection, to have been the most tragic of any in which the 
Royal Fusiliers figured. There can be no possible doubt of the splendid 
gallantry of officers and men. There is as little doubt as to the skill of 
the command. No troops could have done better ; but a certain 
glamour surrounded the action of the Northumberland Fusiliers because 
of their greater success. It is one of the many instances in which the 
caprice of fate involved a grave injustice. 



ST. ELOI, MARCH, 1916 85 

Companies on the left and Y and Z on the right. The 
men ran forward on the explosion of the mines, but they 
were met by intense rifle, machine gun and artillery fire. 
The Germans appear to have been fully on the alert, and 
the battalion at once lost heavily. They stormed the 
German wire, unbroken as it was, and took the first 
German trench. But they had been so weakened and the 
opposition was so heavy that they could get no further, 
and the ground was consolidated. The rest of the day 
was occupied by an artillery duel. The German fire was 
intense, and until midnight it was impossible to relieve 
the battalion. Small parties of the 2nd Royal Scots then 
began to get through, but the relief was not complete until 
6 a.m. on March 28th. The casualties for the day were 10 
officers and 255 other ranks. Captain Moxon, Second 
Lieutenants Tothill, Howard, Boddy and Perrier, were 
killed, and Lieutenant Hardman died of wounds on the 
30th. It was on the 29th that the chaplain, the Rev. N. 
Mellish, went out repeatedly with a volunteer party to 
get in the wounded, and he was awarded the Victoria Cross, 
being the first chaplain to receive it during the war. 

The action of March 27th was but the beginning of a 
long series of local attacks and counter-attacks in this 
area until May 19th, when the status quo ante was perforce 
accepted as the best compromise. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE GREAT ADVENTURE — GALLIPOLI 

" It was an impossible task for any but highly-disciplined, 
well-trained, skilfully-led, heroically brave, grimly-determined 
Britishers, animated by high ideals, and upheld by the tradi- 
tions of their battalions and of their race. It may truly be 
called the achievement of the impossible." — Lieut. -General 
Sir Aylmer Hunter -Weston, M.P., " The Times," June yth, 
1921. 

Meanwhile the 2nd * Battalion had written a memor- 
able page in one of the most tragic episodes of the war. 
Landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula with the 29th Division 
on April 25th, they saw the campaign through to its close 
in brilliant failure. 

At the outbreak of the war the battalion was in India, 
and it did not embark for England until December. 
January 18th, 1915, a week after they had settled down 
at Stockingford, was the first day of mobilisation ; and a 
few days later Lieutenant J. V. Scudmore and Second 
Lieutenant H. Cooper handed over the colours to the 
Lord Mayor of London. But the 29th Division, of which 
the battalion formed part, was not destined to leave 
England yet. It was not until March that orders arrived 
which suggested an Eastern destination. On March 12th 
the division, now commanded by General Hunter- Weston, 
was inspected by the King near Dunchurch, and four days 
later the battalion embarked on S.S. Alaunia at Avon- 
mouth. 

Alaunia steamed her stately way through beautiful 
weather to the Eastern Mediterranean. When she was 
still some distance from Gibraltar the navy began its 

* General Hamilton's despatch speaks of the battalion as the " ist." 





■f. 

- 



SECOND BATTALION IN EGYPT 87 

attack on the Narrows. But apparently there was no 
advantage in speed, and the division waited a few days 
at Malta. Alaunia then steamed towards Lemnos until 
the night of the 26th, when, in conformity with orders 
received by wireless, she changed her course and at length 
arrived at Alexandria on Palm Sunday, March 28th, about 
noon. The troops did not disembark until the following 
day, when they proceeded to Mex Camp. The routine of 
the next few days outlined with sufficient accuracy the 
task which the battalion was to undertake. There were 
practice disembarkations with subsequent attacks on 
enemy positions. One of the Lancashire Fusiliers 
attempted to relieve the tedium by almost drowning him- 
self while bathing in a rough sea, but Lieutenant Anstice, 
who added a happy zest for life to a facility for finding 
adventures, very bravely rescued him. 

The routine became a little more strenuous and life-like 
after the battalion reached Lemnos on April nth. The 
mere operation of disembarkation as carried on in some of 
these rehearsals was the reverse of inspiriting. The vessel 
stood high out of the water, and to enter a boat, bobbing 
up and down in the water, by means of a rope ladder was 
like leaving the roof of a sky-scraper by means of a spider's 
web leading to a cockle-shell. Fortunately the operation 
was simplified for the landing on the peninsula. Implacable 
did not stand nearly so high out of the water, and wooden 
ladders were let down to the boats. 

On the evening of the 23rd the 2nd Royal Fusiliers left 
Lemnos with the covering force for Tenedos, where the 
last preparations were carried out. There the battalion 
was split : W and X Companies, with headquarters, went on 
board H.M.S. Implacable about 7 p.m. on the 24th, while 
Y and Z, with Major L. Brandreth, went on board a mine- 
sweeper. About 10.30 p.m. the approach to Gallipoli 
began. The night was calm and clear, and the short 
journey was made under a brilliant moon. The two 
companies on Implacable had a hot breakfast about 
3.30 a.m. (April 25th), and the men were then put into 



88 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

boats. The moon had already set, and the night had 
become dark and still. At 4.45 the fleet bombardment 
began, and about half an hour later Implacable steamed 
in until her anchor, hanging over the bows to six fathoms, 
dragged. On each side of her were two tows of six boats. 
The difficulty of the task which these heroic troops were 
about to undertake is now commonly realised ; but 
although Sir Ian Hamilton pays it lip-service in his 
admirable despatch, the objective visualised for the 
covering force shows no appreciation of it. In point of 
fact, this objective, "the ridge across the peninsula, 
point 344 — Achi Baba peak — 472 — coast line," remained 
to the end an unrealised dream. The Turks had had full 
warning, and had prepared for the reception of their 
uninvited guests with a defence built upon their own 
unquestioned courage and the conscientious organisation 
of their German allies. 

Before the attack was launched Brig. -General S. W. 
Hare, the officer commanding the covering force, issued 
the following order to the 86th Brigade : " Fusiliers, our 
brigade is to have the honour to be the first to land to 
cover the disembarkation of the rest of the division. Our 
task will be no easy one. Let us carry it through in a 
way worthy of the traditions of the distinguished regiments 
of which the Fusilier Brigade is composed, in such a way 
that the men of Albuhera and Minden, of Delhi and 
Lucknow, may hail us as their equals in valour and military 
achievement, and that future historians may say of us, as 
Napier said of the Fusilier Brigade at Albuhera, ' Nothing 
could stop this astonishing infantry.' The Fusilier 
Brigade certainly deserved this tribute for the landing at 
Gallipoli, and no unit more than the Royal Fusiliers. 

The landing place of the 2nd Battalion was a small 
natural amphitheatre with a narrow floor of sand about 
200 yards long, lying on the north-west face of the penin- 
sula. The cliff was some 100 feet high, rising somewhat 
steeply from the beach, and there was no natural way up. 
The boats were towed in by the pinnaces to about 100 yards 




■ife 




THE LANDING, APRIL 25TH, 1915 89 

from the beach, when, cast off, they had to look to them- 
selves. Each boat had a midshipman and two blue- 
jackets, who were to take them to the mine-sweeper when 
the first half of the battalion had landed. 

The men rowed in as rapidly as possible until the boats 
grounded, when they jumped into the water, and 
waded ashore. In places the men were chest-deep in 
the sea ; and, in any case, the thorough wetting would 
have been a very dangerous handicap where success and 
the cost of it depended on speed. But apparently no one 
thought of this handicap, and the men forced their way 
ashore and scrambled up the crumbling cliff. Up to this 
point the battalion had suffered hardly any casualties- 
The beach " X " was naturally less likely to encourage a 
landing, and Implacable s most skilful covering fire kept 
down the Turkish reply until the cliff was topped. Colonel 
Newenham signalled the position of a half-battery of 
Turkish guns in the scrub in front of the centre of the 
battalion, and they were promptly knocked out by the 
battleship's fire. After that its immediate usefulness was 
small, and the Royal Fusiliers ran into a heavy converging 
fire. But there was no hesitation, no wavering, and the 
men kept on and rapidly seized one of the Turkish trenches. 

By this time Y and Z Companies, with Brandreth, were 
disembarking from the boats which had landed the first 
half of the battalion ; and Lieut. -Colonel Newenham, with 
an instant appreciation of the situation, sent X (Captain 
F. K. Leslie) to the left front, W (Major G. S. Guy on) to 
the centre and right front, and then, taking all the troops 
he could gather, marched towards the right * to effect a 

* The objective, as stated in Colonel Newenham's Operation Order 
No. 1, was " Hill 114, and secure flank towards N.E." One company 
of the Lancashires was to assist in taking Hill 114. 

The disposition (same order) was as follows : " On landing, W 
Company will be on the right and X on the left. The cliff will at once 
be scaled in platoons or half-platoons. The trench at top of cliff will 
be immediately rushed with bayonets. X Company will then be 
prepared to attack on the left (N.), and W Company will be prepared to 
the right (S.). As soon as Y and Z Companies land, Z Company will at 
once ascend the cliff in platoons or half-platoons. Y Company will 



go ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

junction with the Lancashires at " W " beach. The 
smallest pardonable indecision at this point, and the whole 
landing would have failed. Colonel Newenham had 
learned by signal that the troops on " Y " beach were hard 
beset, and could not join with his force on " X," and that 
the landing on " V " was hung up. He had seen that the 
Lancashires were suffering terribly in even approaching 
their beach. 

The little force which marched towards the Lancashire 
landing was made up of W and part of Z Company (Major 
F. Moore). Y (Major W. A. B. Daniell) was left as a 
reserve and to carry ammunition and water, and the orders 
were to hold on left and front. Between " X" and " W " 
beaches lay Cape Tekke, crowned by Tekke Hill (Hill 114) , * 
and, in order to join hands with the Lancashires, the Royal 
Fusiliers had to carry it. The hill had been elaborately 
entrenched and was also defended by land mines, but 
about 11 a.m. the Fusiliers, cheered on by Impiacable's 
crew, carried it at the point of the bayonet. The battalion 
sent back about sixty prisoners. They then re-formed and 
advanced north-east and east, and met with heavy opposi- 
tion on the reverse side of the hill. The Turks were 
dislodged from their entrenchments, and the Royal 
Fusiliers then dug in for the night. They had achieved 
contact with the Lancashires, and their role had been amply 
filled. 

Meanwhile, X Company had fought through as terrible 
an experience as any troops on the peninsula. Between 
" Y " beach and " X " beach was a considerable Turkish 
force at " Y2 " or " Gully " beach. The first 300 yards 
of the advance to the left from " X " beach was 
made against little opposition ; and the Turks, retiring 
at 9 a.m., left the first line of trenches in Captain Leslie's 
hands. But the Turks fell back upon heavy reinforcements 

first unload the boats, and then be prepared to support Z Company or 
to carry up stores, as is necessary." 

* This hill cannot be accurately described as between " V " and 
" W " beaches, as in General Hamilton's despatch. 



THE CRISIS ON APRIL 25TH 



9i 



at " Y2," and when X Company approached the second 
line they became involved in heavy fighting. Part of 
Y Company went up in support, but the struggle gathered 
in intensity, and the centre began to give way. The main 
mass of the battalion had been concentrated on the flanks 
and had marched outwards, and the centre was inevitably 
thinned. Part of Z had been extended to the left, and the 




Sketch Map showing the Tosition at the South-West of Galli- 
poli on the Night of April 25TH, 1915, on the Night of 
the 26th, and up to May 17TH, 1915. 

The various lines show the stages in the advance. The disposition 
of the 2nd Royal Fusiliers on the night of April 25th gives some 
suggestion of the strain through which they had passed during the day. 

whole of Y had become involved. A remnant of Leslie's 
company began to fall back under cover of a platoon of 
Z, commanded by Lieutenant Jebens. 

But at 3 p.m. Shafto informed Colonel Newenham that 
the centre was falling back ; and for a moment it seemed 
as if the whole position was crumbling, just when it had 
been so dearly won. At this critical juncture Colonel 
Newenham telephoned to the 87th Brigade, who were 
now landing at " X " beach, and a little later the 1st 



92 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Border Regiment reinforced the left of the line. For the 
rest of the day X was attached to them, and at night lay 
on their left. In the attack on Hill 114, Colonel 
Newenham had been wounded. He was assisted into a 
little gully with some other wounded, but between 3 and 
4 p.m., when the line appeared to be giving at a number of 
points, the little party was almost cut off and captured. 
With the assistance of the Border Regiment and the 
1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the line was consolidated ; 
and though it was heavily attacked and under a sustained 
fire during the night, the dawn saw the Turks fall back to 
a rear position. 

From the force eventually required to hold the line 
some idea of the magnitude of the 2nd Battalion's achieve- 
ment may be gathered. At night they lay somewhat 
scattered along the rim of the cliff. Between the small 
party on the extreme left and the section on the left of 
the Lancashires lay the Border Regiment and the Innis- 
killings. The battalion's losses had been very heavy. 
Lieut. -Colonel Newenham * and Major Brandreth, second 
in command, were both wounded. Of X Company only 
O'Connell remained, with about a platoon. Captain 
Leslie and Lieutenant R. E. G. A. de Trafford were killed. 
Captain Tottenham and Lieutenant S. Winslade were 
wounded. Lieutenants J. V. Scudamore (W) and M. 
Brickland (Y) were killed. Second Lieutenants Hanham 
and Collings were wounded. No company commander 
escaped, and the battalion was reduced to about half 
strength. But a careful study of the situation during 
this day makes it evident that their contribution had been 
decisive. The troops at " Y " beach were held, and 
actually withdrew the following day. The landing at 
" V " beach was in the air. The first hours of the 

* Colonel Newenham had the hard fate of only seeing the battalion 
he had so carefully trained in action on this one occasion. But the 
praise which it won from the closest observer, quoted several times in 
these pages, for its efficiency, discipline, and courage, is sufficient 
tribute to his command. He was granted a well-deserved C.B. for his 
services on this occasion. 




Brig. -General H. E. B. Newenham, C.B., who commanded the 
2nd Royal Fusiliers in the Landing at Gallipoli. 



THE NIGHT AFTER THE LANDING 93 

Lancashires' landing found them hardly able to do more 
than hang on. The swift march upon and capture of 
Hill 114 turned the scale on " W" beach ; and with the 
linking of the two beaches a feasible, if precarious, foothold 
was established on the peninsula.* 

Captain Moore's wound proved slight, and on the night 
of the landing he took over the command of the battalion. 
On the afternoon of the 26th they had to beat off two 
determined Turkish attacks. The first assault was made 
with a force estimated at 1,500, and the second, half an 
hour later, with an additional thousand. The Turks 
achieved no success, and Hill 141, to the right of "V 
beach, having been taken, the Turks could be seen with- 
drawing towards Achi Baba. On the following day a 
general advance was made without opposition, the 
86th Brigade being in divisional reserve. 

On the 28th there occurred one of those unfortunate 
incidents which seemed to appear with undue frequency 
on the peninsula. The battalion advancing on the 
extreme left, by the coast, were ordered to move to the 

* A few sentences in General Hamilton's despatch tend to give a 
wrong impression of the battalion's achievement : " The battalion then 
advanced to attack the Turkish trenches on Hill 114 .. . but were 
heavily counter-attacked and forced to give ground. Two more 
battalions of the 87th Brigade soon followed them, and by evening the 
troops had established themselves . . . as far south as Hill 114." The 
Royal Fusiliers not only carried the hill positions, but by 2 p.m. had also 
taken the entrenchments on the further side. Help from the 87th 
Brigade came at least two hours later, and to the weakened centre, not 
to the victorious right. The despatch, speaking of the Lancashires, 
also says that " a junction was effected on Hill 114 with the Royal 
Fusiliers," without any suggestion that, unless the 2nd Battalion had 
promptly marched upon and seized it, there would have been no 
possibility of effecting a junction. Mr. Nevinson shows a better 
appreciation of the position when he says (speaking of the Lancashires 
on "W" beach), " No further advance could be made until 2 p.m., 
when, owing to the positions held by the two companies on the left, the 
landing had become fairly secure " (" The Dardanelles Campaign," 
p. 103). The position held by these two companies was made possible 
by the decisive march of the Royal Fusiliers. General Callwell summed 
up this episode in the words : " The success of the Royal Fusiliers at 
beach ' X ' must be set down as a particularly memorable exploit " 
(" The Dardanelles," p. 67). 



94 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

support of the 88th Brigade, who were meeting with strong 
opposition. The 86th were to take ammunition to the 
88th, and to carry the line forward to the spur north-east 
of Krithia. The Royal Fusiliers and the Lancashires were 
to'attack, the former being on the left of the directing 
platoon of the Lancashires. When the latter at length 
began to advance, the 2nd Battalion, under Cripps and 
O'Connell, conformed, and carried the line forward with 
a series of short, swift rushes. Heavy fighting continued 
all day, but the battalion dug in on a line about a mile 
south of Krithia. Cripps was wounded, and the strength 
of the Fusiliers ebbed still further. What appeared more 
lamentable was that the farthest point reached could not 
be maintained for lack of support, and a month's hard 
righting and heavy losses were required to regain the 
ground won in this determined advance. The battalion 
was in brigade reserve on the two following days, resting 
and reorganising. Indeed, some respite was called for. 
On leaving Mex Camp they had mustered 26 officers and 
948 other ranks. On April 30th the strength was 12 
officers and 481 other ranks. 

On May 1st, after a quiet day, the battalion was called 
upon for another tour de force. At 7.30 p.m. orders had 
been issued for the relief of the 86th Brigade, but it was 
still in the line when a very heavy attack developed at 
10.30 p.m. " The first momentum of this ponderous 
onslaught fell upon the right of the 86th Brigade, an 
unlucky spot, seeing all the officers thereabouts had 
already been killed or wounded." * It was a weak spot 
for another reason. At this point of the brigade front 
the line was cut by a bifurcating nullah. The Turks 
organised this first massed counter-attack with great skill. 
The trenches were first heavily shelled, and then, just 
before moonrise, the first line of the Turks hurled them- 
selves against the Allied positions with fixed bayonets. 
From prisoners captured by the Royal Fusiliers it was 

* Despatch. 



COUNTERATTACK ON MAY ist— 2nd 95 

later discovered that this attack was delivered by 16,000 
Turks, with 2,000 in reserve. 

The effect of this onslaught on the already weak 
Munsters might have been foreseen. The heavy weight 
of living bayonets, bursting out of the darkness into their 
trenches and up the nullah, overwhelmed the defence. 
Some of the Turks penetrated to the reserve trench held 
by the 1/5 Scots.* But the position was critical, and 
the Royal Fusiliers, who were in brigade reserve, were 
again called upon. Captain North-Bomford and Lieu- 
tenant Jebens took up Z Company. The line at this 
moment was pierced. The Turks were massed in the 
nullah. The Fusiliers at once charged into it, and though 
North-Bomford was wounded, the breach in the line was 
healed. The nullah was soon choked with dead and 
dying. Forty prisoners were sent back, and when 
Y Company came up the line was restored on both sides 
of the nullah. The trenches were held all night (May 2nd), 
despite incessant attacks, in which the Turks on more 
than one occasion fought their way up to the trench 
parapets. Lieutenant Anstice.f who had distinguished 
himself for his coolness and gallantry in carrying ammu- 
nition to the front line, was killed. Jebens was wounded, 
and Captain Moore was again hit, and had to hand over 
the command to Captain H. M. Hope-Johnstone. It was 
immediately after discussing the position with his new CO. 
that Shafto, one of the most popular of officers, was shot 
dead while examining the front line in the early morning. 
The battalion had again lost very heavily, but their inter- 
vention at a critical juncture had " saved the situation. "J 

" All through the operations the Royal Fusiliers 
worked with the smoothest precision ; never for a moment 
did they lose their high standard of efficiency. No task 
was relinquished while it was humanly possible to com- 

* General Hamilton's despatch attributes to this regiment the saving 
of the situation, and does not mention the Royal Fusiliers. 
t He was recommended for the Victoria Cross. 
I From a letter of the Brigade Major, May 22nd, 1915. 



96 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

pletc it. With such men as Moore, Shafto, and Hope- 
Johnstone in control, all officers inspiring confidence, and 
the disciplined conduct of the men showing their friendly 
trust in them, there was never a fear that the reserve 
might fail in stemming the assault. Captain Moore, in 
telephonic communication throughout the night with the 
firing line and brigade headquarters, gave accurate and 
constant information of the progress of the fight, and 
acted on his own initiative or carried out orders rapidly 
to deal with every situation." * 

There were now only six officers left. Mundey became 
Adjutant. Huggett, O'Connell, Hewitt and Cooper were 
the other officers ; and there were still 425 other ranks. 
On the night of the 2nd the bulk of the battalion was 
again sent up in support. The two following days were 
quiet. On the 4th the 86th Brigade was broken up, the 
Royal Fusiliers, linked with the Hants, though as a 
separate battalion, going to the 88th Brigade. The 
landing phase was over. In a letter dated May 22nd, 
1915, the Brigade Major of the 86th Infantry Brigade 
said, " Where all have done well, the Royal Fusiliers have 
been beyond praise. With five junior officers and under 
400 men, they have never lost their form for a moment. 
Not only have they always done what might have been 
expected of them, but they have risen to a standard of 
soldiering which could not be higher, and never departed 
from it. I am filled with admiration for them." Praise 
could hardly be higher than this. 

On May 6th began the second battle of Krithia. At 
about 11 a.m. the battalion moved to the extreme left of the 
brigade front in support of the Hampshire Regiment, 
and at 12.30 p.m. Huggett's company reinforced the Hants' 
left in the advance. The Fusiliers' left rested on the Saghir 
Dere (Gully Ravine), and in about four hours' hard fighting 
they had carried the line forward several hundred yards ; 
and, no further advance being possible, dug in as fast as 

* The Brigade Major, 86th Brigade, quoted from " With the 29th 
Division," p. 190. 



SECOND BATTLE OF KRITHIA, MAY 6th— 7TH 97 

possible under fire. So the position stood that night, and 
on the following morning it was found impossible to make 
headway against the Turkish opposition, while the flanking 
brigade was held up. The Essex who advanced through 
the battalion at 5 p.m. were in trouble for the same reason, 
and during the night the Fusiliers had to send up a party 
to fill the gap on their left to the nullah. All that day the 
battalion had been under very accurately aimed shell fire, 
and on the 8th they still suffered from this unwelcome 
attention. But the second battle of Krithia died down 
under heavy counter-attacks and the battalion went into 
reserve 5 officers and 384 other ranks strong, after sixteen 
days in the fire zone. 

When the Fusiliers went back into the line again on the 
17th they had the novel excitement of enfilading a 
Turkish trench. Though at some 1,200 yards distance, the 
fire very efficiently checked the activity of enemy snipers. 
But this was merely an interlude. Saps were driven for- 
ward and several attempts were made to lift the batta- 
lion front with them. The second was on the 22nd, when 
gallantly led by Moore, Hope- Johnstone and Webb-Bowen, 
the Fusiliers captured a Turkish trench ; but a heavy 
counter-attack forced them to withdraw with 40 casualties, 
including Moore and Webb-Bowen. Both were wounded, 
Moore for the third time. Maj or Brandreth had by this time 
returned to the battalion, and there had been no pause in 
the fighting when they were called upon to take part in 
the third battle of Krithia, on June 4th. 

The Turks had now organised a systematic defence 
across the peninsula and the battalion had to advance 
against a determined resistance. A small machine gun 
redoubt, lying about 150 yards in front, was among their 
objectives. Admirably sited on rising ground the position 
was strong out of all proportion to its size. When 
the advance began at noon W Company (Captain 
Amphlett), on the right, rushed this redoubt, and there, 
for the first time, the battalion came face to face with 
Germans. The garrision was composed of a machine gun 

F. H 



98 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

crew from the cruiser Breslau. " One ugly looking cus- 
tomer was captured, evidently the naval equivalent of a 
military pioneer sergeant. He was armed with a rifle, 
revolver and a serrated sword. The others retired on the 
arrival of our men, leaving four heavy naval machine 
guns, and belt boxes of S.A.A. ... I collected these guns 
and sent them to brigade headquarters with labels, stating 
time of capture, etc. The guns had evidently been taken 
from the Breslau, the belt boxes were all marked S.M.S. 
Breslau."* 

Captain Amphlett was killed on this occasion. A police 
magistrate in Grenada at the outbreak of the war, he was 
one of the new officers and appears to have shown his 
quality at once and to have died beloved by his 
company. 

The battalion swept past the redoubt and established 
themselves in the first objective. No further advance 
could be made as the Indians on the left were held up by 
uncut wire. The brilliant French advance was followed 
by a retirement which compelled the R.N.D. to fall 
back. The Manchester Brigade of the 42nd Division had 
reached the second objective ; and to strengthen their 
position the Royal Fusiliers on the left advanced once more 
under artillery support, and carried the line well beyond 
the first objective. This was not an unmixed advantage, 
as the sequel showed. The new front line was not con- 
tinuous, and, with the coastal sector at the original posi- 
tion, the ground gained formed an irregular salient in the 
Turkish lines. Some 80 yards of the Fusiliers' line on the 
left was a Turkish communication trench which lay prac- 
tically at right angles to the main line, and the battalion 
on the left, lying some distance ahead, shared this trench. 
After the main attack on June 4th followed a quiet day ; 



* Statement by R.S.M. Huband (June, 192 1). General Hamilton's 
despatch says " Goeben." I cannot determine whether there were two 
similar incidents, and the brigade diary is missing for this date. It 
seems more probable that " Breslau " should be substituted for 
" Goeben." 



THIRD BATTLE OF KRITHIA, JUNE 4TH— 6th 99 

but at dawn on the 6th a loud noise of bombing was 
heard on the Fusiliers' left. Almost immediately after- 
wards a large body of men were seen retiring ; but 
instead of going straight back they ran along the parados 
and rushed into the left of the Fusiliers' sector. The 
trenches were narrow and soon became choked. Brandreth 
seeing the possibility of panic spreading, ran across with 
Mundey and Sergeant Marston. Every effort was made to 
restore order, but the vacated trenches were now occupied 
by the Turks. Very soon the battalion were taken from 
the left rear. Many men were shot in the back. Only one 
officer, Second Lieutenant Cooper, remained. Word was 
sent back to the brigade, but the company which was sent 
up refused to counter-attack without information from the 
CO., who was missing. So the battalion had to retire. In 
the three days' righting it had suffered very terribly. The 
ten new officers were all lost, and they included such men 
as the famous embryologist Captain Jenkinson. The loss 
of Brandreth was of greater importance to the battalion ; 
and Mundey, who had also fallen, had revealed unexpected 
strength. When it was relieved, the following day, it 
marched, 2 officers and 278 other ranks strong, to Gully 
Beach. 

Four company organisation was dropped and the two 
companies fell under the command of Captain A. A. C. 
Taylor, of the Dublins. While in reserve they were joined 
by Major Julian Fisher, D.S.O., who brought with him a 
draft of 10 officers and 400 other ranks from England. 
Captain P. N. Wilson, who was commanding the divisional 
cyclists, was allowed to rejoin the battalion, and the unit 
was given ten days to reorganise. The new draft consisted 
of very young men who had not received much training. 
None of the officers were Regulars, but men who had 
gathered from the ends of the earth to take their part in 
the war. When the battalion went back to the line once 
more, on June 23rd, they mustered 13 officers and 667 
other ranks. Lieutenant Eustace commanded Y company, 
Captain Ayrton X and Captain Gudgeon Z. About three 

 1 



ioo ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

days later Captain FitzClarence * arrived from England 
and took over the duties of the second in command. 

On the 28th the battalion again attacked, leading the 
brigade with three companies ; and their advance, though 
successful, was dearly bought. They advanced about 
1,000 yards, " a magnificent sight, the men never losing 
their formation under a heavy artillery and rifle fire." f 
The ground had been carefully ranged and the bulk of the 
casualties were due to well-placed shrapnel. There were 
few from rifle fire ; but in attempting to round off their 
achievement in the night the battalion became involved 
in hand-to-hand fighting. Few details of these encounters 
have been preserved ; but when the Fusiliers were relieved 
they were in the last stage of exhaustion. A twenty-four 
hours' struggle in oppressive heat with hardly any water 
has its unforgettable terrors. The actual losses included 
nine officers : FitzClarence, Ayrton, Andrews killed ; 
Bulbeck, Freer and Harford wounded ; Gudgeon, Eustace 
and Willett missing. Of other ranks, 27 were killed, 
175 wounded, and 57 missing. Not one of these officers 
had been with the battalion when it landed in Gallipoli, 
and the continuity was preserved by an ever-thinning 
thread. 

When the battalion returned to the trenches on July 3rd, 
Major Cripps had rejoined and taken over the duties of 
adjutant ; and in this tour the 9 officers and 409 other 
ranks had companies of newly arrived troops attached for 
instructional purposes. On the 15th the Fusiliers pro- 
ceeded to " V " beach and embarked for Lemnos. The 
next day was spent in bivouacs about a mile from Mudros, 
the first day since April 25th that the 2nd Battalion had 
not been under rifle or shell fire. There they were rejoined 
by Major Guy on who took over the command from Major 

* Captain A. A. C. FitzClarence was the sixth of his family to serve 
in the regiment. He was a cousin of Brig. -General FitzClarence, V.C., 
also a Royal Fusilier, who initiated the counter-attack which restored 
the line at Ypres on October 31st, 1914. 

f Mr. Ashmead Bartlett in The Times, July 9th, 1915. 



KRITHIA VINEYARD, AUGUST 6th ioi 

Fisher. Drafts were received from the 3rd,* 5th and 
7th Battalions and the unit was able to return to three 
company strength once more. 

The battles of Suvla saw them in Gallipoli again. The 
trenches were practically the same as those occupied 
before the rest in Lemnos. Indeed, one of the terrible 
characteristics of the whole of this campaign was the 
impression of always advancing at great cost and never 
changing the position. The actions of Krithia Vineyard, 
which were subsidiary to the battles of Suvla, saw the 
battalion bringing in the wounded of the 88th Brigade. 
They had moved to the reserve trench before the opening 
of the battle, and as the 88th Brigade left the trenches 
early in the morning of August 6th, they took them over. 
Well-directed and sustained, the Turkish counter-bom- 
bardment exacted a heavy toll. The firing line was found 
to be full of dead and wounded, belonging to different 
units. Z Company, on the left, also suffered severely. 
Some relief was afforded by the luck of a machine gun. 
Mounted in a communication trench, this gun, at a range 
of 850 yards, enfiladed a trench near the vineyard and 
wiped off some of the score. 

Suvla. — On the 16th the battalion relieved the Border 
Regiment who were holding the extreme left of the line to 
the sea. W Company lay on the cliff side as it rose from the 
sea. The line occupied by Z ran almost at right angles to 
this position, turning back roughly parallel to the sea. It 
was not a sector that one would naturally choose. The 
Turkish snipers were in the ascendant. The steel loop- 
holes were being shot away and periscopes could not be 
raised for more than a second or two. From the Turkish 
trenches which, in places, were only 15 yards distant, 
bombs were being continually thrown into the British 
lines. The conditions, in fine, were intolerable, and 
arrangements were made to relieve them. An intensive 
treatment with jam-tin bombs and trench mortars some- 
what chastened the Turkish bomb throwers, and a minor 

* Men who had suffered from trench feet in France. 



102 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

attack was planned for the 20th. But it was never to 
take place. On the 19th the battalion were relieved. 
They embarked from " W " beach at 7 p.m. on the 
following day, and at midnight they disembarked at " C " 
beach, Suvla. Packs were dumped and the battalion 
marched to Chocolate Hill, arriving there at dawn on 
August 2 1 st. 

Their role was to assist in redeeming the past. On how- 
many occasions during the war were the Royal Fusiliers 
faced with a similar task ? A single battalion, 6th E. 
Yorks. Pioneers had occupied Scimitar Hill on Sunday, 
August 8th, and had been withdrawn, apparently by an 
oversight. Its value, recognised later, led to the plan in 
which the 2nd Battalion were to play their part. The 
key to " W " hill and Anafarta Sagir, its possession was 
necessary if a further advance were to be made ; and, 
untaken, even the security of the main Suvla landing was 
prejudiced. Scimitar Hill was to be taken by the con- 
verging attack of the 87th and S6th Brigades, the 86th 
advancing from the right. The Royal Fusiliers in brigade 
reserve, were behind Chocolate Hill, their position being 
connected with that of the Munsters and Lancashires by a 
narrow communication trench. At 2.30 p.m. (August 
2 1st) the bombardment began. A quarter of an hour 
later, the men began to file down the communication 
trench in order to be ready to take up the position ahead 
as soon as it was vacated by the Munsters and Lancashires. 
At 3.30 these troops went forward ; but the brigades on 
the right had lost direction in front and little headway 
could be made. While filing down the trench the Royal 
Fusiliers came under a heavy enfilade fire from shrapnel. 
It became blocked with dead and wounded, and to add 
to the horror of the moment, the thick bush on both sides 
was kindled by the shell fire. Such facts beggar 
description. 

At 6 p.m., a patrol under Captain Bruce found that 
the battalion was not linked up with the yeomanry on the 
right. And during the night 150 men, under Captain 



SUVLA, AUGUST— SEPTEMBER 103 

Stevenson, began to dig a connecting trench in the open. 
But slow progress was made, and the men were picked 
off all too easily. During the day it was realised that the 
advance had fizzled out, and at 6 p.m. the battalion moved 
back behind Chocolate Hill, in order to take over trenches 
on the left of the 87th Brigade. 

During the night of the 22nd the battalion took over 
the fire trench from the 6th Royal Welch Fusiliers. The 
position was beginning to harden in this part of the 
peninsula. The fine hope that sped the Suvla battles 
had faded away, and it became necessary to secure a real 
grip on the ground already won. Consolidation was 
pressed on, and trenches were dug to connect up with 
the 88th Brigade on the left. The position was exposed, 
life unusually precarious even for the peninsula. All 
rations had to be brought up by night. But the Fusiliers 
concentrated on their work, and the trenches and the whole 
position were improved and strengthened. A large draft 
brought the strength of the battalion to 16 officers and 
1,015 other ranks, higher than it had ever been in Gallipoli, 
and 150 yards of the Dublins' line was taken over. 

On relief, the battalion, after a week spent in dug-outs, 
embarked for Imbros on September 8th. It was their 
first rest for six weeks, almost all of which had been spent 
in the front trench under constant rifle and shell fire. 
That week over 200 men were down with diarrhoea, and 
another of the perils of the peninsula began to be experi- 
enced. The casualties up to this time (September 14th) 
were as follows : — 







Other 




Officers. 


Ranks. 


Dead . 


. 19 


260 


Wounded 


. 40 


914 


Sick . 


. 24 


37 6 


Missing 


• 7 


96 



90 1,646 

With so terrible a disproportion in officer casualties 



104 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

it was obvious that there would be a shortage ; and this 
was a characteristic of all the British units in Gallipoli. 
Of all the original officers of the battalion not one had been 
able to see the campaign through, and only 166 other 
ranks had escaped wounds. Two officers, Guyon and 
Cripps, and about ioo other ranks had returned from 
hospital. 

On September 21st the battalion embarked in such 
rough weather that it was with the greatest difficulty 
the men could be transferred from lighters to the ship. 
But at length this was achieved without mishap, and the 
troops returned to Suvla, where they relieved the S.W. 
Borderers in the firing line. During this tour of the front 
trenches parties of the 2/3 London Regiment, who had 
only recently landed in Gallipoli, were attached for 
instructional purposes. It was a strange chance that 
cast these two battalions of the regiment together. The 
2/3 Londons had replaced the 1/3 in the Malta 
garrison, and then, in April, 1915, had left for Khartum. 
Detachments were also stationed at Atbara and Suikat. 
In Gallipoli they reinforced the 86th Brigade, and took 
part in various minor engagements. 

The last days of September saw almost perfect weather. 
The days were warm and sunny, the nights cool. It 
seemed as if the terrible peninsula, which was yet to show 
its worst, was, for the moment, determined to exhibit its 
best. Under such conditions labour seemed no great 
hardship, and the men settled down to the never-ceasing 
task of improving the trenches. In early October they 
took over a new stretch of fire line from the Munsters and 
a company of the Dublins, and at once set to work like 
ants on improving these positions. A new fire trench 
was constructed, and a communication trench to it. In 
the latter task Second Lieutenant Jepson was killed 
(October 16th) and Lieutenant Fletcher was wounded. 
But the battalion here, as everywhere, seemed imbued 
with a divine discontent. The perfect alignment required 
the assimilation of some elements of the Turkish system, 



SUVLA, OCTOBER— NOVEMBER 105 

and so three night attacks were made, the last on October 
22nd. These operations won the congratulations of the 
corps commander. 

On October 18th the 2/4 Battalion London Regiment 
landed at Cape Helles. They had left Malta in August 
for Egypt, and had been two months in camp at Alex- 
andria. During their service in Gallipoli they were 
attached to the Royal Naval Division, and took part in 
the trench warfare until the evacuation. 

It was in the latter part of October that Guyon, com- 
manding the 2nd Battalion, fell ill with appendicitis, 
and for a week he lay in his dug-out before it was 
possible to remove him to hospital. It was at this 
time, too, that the pace of the operations on the 
peninsula settled down as though for an indefinitely long 
tenure. From the view-point of the 2nd Battalion this 
period was marked by ingenuity and daring initiative. 
On November 2nd a small body attempted to pull away 
the Turkish wire en bloc with ropes. Unfortunately, the 
atmosphere had sapped the fibre of the ropes, and the 
exploit proved more ingenious than serviceable. Turkish 
sniping posts received one or two unwelcome visits from 
bombing parties. There were several good reconnaissance 
patrols. But, despite all attentions, the Turkish snipers 
proved a pest to the end, and on November 12th Second 
Lieutenant E. J. Haywood, the acting brigade machine 
gun officer, was killed while visiting a machine gun post. 

Lord Kitchener had visited Gallipoli and passed through 
Greece on his way home again when the worst calamity 
befell the batallion. November 26th dawned fine, and 
so continued until about 5 p.m., when it began to rain. 
Almost at once it became a characteristic tropical down- 
pour. In an hour there was a foot of water in the trenches. 
From the hills where the Turks lay a tremendous flood 
of water swept towards the Fusiliers' position.* The 
barriers reared so painfully against the Turks were swept 

* " The Royal Fusiliers suffered much more than any other regi- 
ment " (" The Dardanelles Campaign," Nevinson, p. 384). 



106 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

away in a flash. In a few minutes the face of the country 
had changed. Into the trenches swept a pony, a mule, 
and three dead Turks. Several men were drowned. The 
whole area became a lake. The communication trenches 
were a swirl of muddy water. All that could be seen was 
an occasional tree and a muddy bank where the parados 
had been particularly high. The bulk of the battalion 
had scrambled out of the trenches, and stood about on 
the spots which remained above water, soaked to the skin, 
and at least half of them without overcoats or even rifles. 
The moon lit up these small knots of shivering men on 
little banks of mud in a waste of water. Not a shot was 
fired on either side. The common calamity had enforced 
an efficient truce. 

Orders came by telephone that the battalion was to hold 
on to the line at all costs. Meanwhile two orderlies, 
Frost and James, had been sent to brigade headquarters, 
and had been compelled to swim most of the way. About 
10 p.m. the water subsided slightly, and the men threw 
up rough breastworks of mud. There they lay huddled 
together in extreme discomfort, cut through by a piercing 
wind. The next day the trenches were still from 4 to 5 feet 
deep, and the men were forced to keep to them. The truce 
had ended as strangely as it had begun, and any one show- 
ing above the trenches was liable to meet the familiar fate . 
Captain Shaw was shot dead, Lieutenant Ormesher was 
mortally wounded ; and with such object lessons the 
bitter discomforts of the trenches were made to seem pre- 
ferable. In the afternoon the wind rose again. It became 
intensely cold. A blizzard swept the country. Men were 
sent back to hospital ; but some of them died on the way, 
from exposure and exhaustion. Two of them, belonging 
to W Company, who shared this fate, had struggled on 
until they found some sort of shelter near the Salt Lake. 
There they had paused to rest. The younger of the two 
could probably have got back to camp alone, but he would 
not leave his comrade in the storm and darkness and snow. 
The next morning they were found together — frozen stiff. 



SUVLA, THE GREAT FLOOD 107 

The younger, his arms round his companion, held a piece of 
broken biscuit in each frozen hand, and there were biscuit 
crumbs frozen into the moustache of the elder man. 

Under such conditions the tacit truce was renewed. 
Rum and whisky were brought up to the trenches ; but 
with the utmost difficulty. 

At midnight on the 27th, the wind was colder, the snow 
thicker. About 4 a.m. (November 28th) the commanding 
officer and the adjutant were the only survivors in the 
reserve line ; and it was clear that even superhuman 
endurance had limits. Permission was obtained to bring 
the battalion back to the brigade nullah, where the ground 
was higher and more sheltered. There were only about 
300 left in the firing line, and they were got back with 
great difficulty. Hardly a man could walk normally. 
The trench was crossed by a single plank. A few of the 
men were shot as they staggered across. Some failed to 
get back at all. Others were kicked along with merciful 
brutality, or they would have given up the struggle. There 
are few pictures in military history which equal in poign- 
ancy that of this little band who, having faced what was 
almost beyond the power of men, struggled back to life 
from the very gates of death. 

By 7 a.m. the battalion had arrived at the nullah, where 
they were given warm food and put into blankets. The 
majority were taken to hospital during the day suffering 
either from exposure or frost-bite. The strength of the 
battalion was now 11 officers and 105 other ranks. A 
party of men, under Second Lieutenant Camies, were sent 
back to the Dublin Castle post to hold on to next evening. 
On the 29th it froze hard, and after midnight it was found 
that the party from another regiment who were to have 
relieved Second Lieutenant Camies, had lost their way. 
At 4 a.m. (November 30th) Camies and his men were found 
still at their posts, but in an almost helpless condition. 
Sergt. -Major Paschall was sent to take out the relieving 
party and bring back Camies. The outpost on return all 
went to hospital, and at 4 p.m. roll call showed only 10 



108 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

officers and 84 other ranks (70 effective) remaining. The 
storm had wrought a greater havoc than any battle.* 

On December 2nd the draining of the reserve trench was 
begun, and on December 3rd the weather became a little 
warmer. Some drafts arrived., and the battalion, organised 
in two companies, began to hold the Dublin Castle position 
by companies, forty-eight hours at a time. On the 13th 
the line was handed over to the 88th Brigade, and on the 
following day the battalion embarked for Mudros, and after 
a day's rest proceeded once more to Helles. Here the time 
was spent in training and fatigues until December 31st, 
when the news of the approaching evacuation was received. 
A line of defences was at once mapped out, and work 
begun on them. At 10 p.m. on January 2nd the two 
companies embarked on a trawler from " W " beach. A 
few hours earlier the beach was being shelled, but the 
actual embarkation was uneventful. The next day the 
battalion was transhipped to S.S. Caledonia on arrival at 
Mudros, and the course was set for Alexandria. On 
January 8th they arrived at Alexandria and entrained for 
Suez. 

It was little more than a year since the battalion, a 
splendid fighting unit, had reached this very place, 
travelling in the opposite direction. The intervening 
period enshrined one of the most terrible experiences any 
soldiers were called upon to suffer. But the 2nd Battalion 
can look back with pride on this campaign in Gallipoli. 
In attack, in defence, in endurance they were, as a close 
observer said more than once, " beyond praise." j 

* The 2/3 Londons also suffered very terribly in this storm, being 
reduced to 4 officers and 60 men. 

f Brigade Major, 86th Brigade. See p. 96. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME 

By a strange coincidence the 2nd Battalion made its 
second debut in major operations in another attempt to 
achieve the impossible. On this occasion it took part with 
the 29th Division in the holding attack, north of the Ancre, 
which was launched simultaneously with the opening of 
the Somme battle on July 1st, 1916. 

At the battle of Loos the role of the British Army had 
been subsidiary to that of the French. Neither men nor 
material justified the hope of the army playing a part of 
decisive importance. But at the battle of the Somme 
there were ample numbers ; and the army had increased 
until, on the Western Front, it commanded 660,000 
bayonets and sabres. And the atmosphere in which the 
battle was launched was completely changed. Loos was 
fought when the Russian Army appeared to be at its last 
gasp. Russia had already won a striking victory when 
the battle of the Somme began ; Italy had recovered from 
the Austrian attack in the Trentino, and France had 
weathered the attack at Verdun, though with heavy loss. 
The expansion of the Royal Fusiliers was symptomatic of 
the change in the equilibrium on the west. There were 
now twenty-one battalions in France, in addition to 
battalions in the Balkans and in Africa. 

Beaumont Hamel. — From first to last no fewer than 
twenty battalions of Royal Fusiliers were engaged in the 
battle of the Somme. But no other Fusilier unit fought 
so unsatisfying an action with such heavy loss as did the 
2nd Battalion. Its role was to hold the German reserves 
and occupy his artillery in order to assist the main attack 
south of the Ancre. But, as ill-fortune would have it, the 



no ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

enemy had expected the main attack on the front allocated 
to holding and subsidiary attacks, and the units engaged 
there suffered accordingly. 

The preparations for the opening of the first great British 
attack in France had been very elaborate, and on the front 
of the division, north of the 29th, they included the driving 
of an enormous mine towards the Hawthorne Redoubt. 
The explosion of this mine was to launch the battalion's 
attack and provide its first objective. The Fusiliers lay 
just north of the Ancre, below Beaumont Hamel, which 
nature and artifice had turned into a very formidable 
fortress. The troops were in position at 5.15 a.m., and 
the bombardment became terrific. Shortly afterwards 
a smoke barrage was put down, and then at 7.20 a.m. the 
mine was exploded, filling the air with a cloud of debris. 
At once D Company rushed forward with machine guns 
to occupy the crater, but they were met by a heavy 
German barrage and machine gun fire. Five minutes later 
was zero hour, and the whole line advanced. 

Upon the battalion front the attack never had any 
chance of success. When D Company reached the mine 
crater they were only able to occupy the nearer lip as the 
other side was already held by the Germans. No advance 
could be made there, and, on the rest of the front few of the 
men reached the enemy's wire. The British barrage was 
persistent in its attentions to the second and third lines 
of the German first defensive system, with the consequence 
that the battle was restricted to the first line where, armed 
with an ample supply of machine guns, the enemy was 
able to crush every attempt to rush it. At mid-day the 
few men remaining in No Man's Land had to give up the 
futile attempt and retire. The losses of the battalion had 
been very terrible. Major Cripps who had been ordered 
to brigade headquarters to be brigade major, was 
seriously wounded within two hours. Lieut. -Colonel A. V. 
Johnson was buried and wounded in the front line trench 
by a shell from one of our own batteries. He attempted 
to carry on, but was clearly unfit to do so and was evacuated. 




Major-General Sir W. B. Hickie, K.C.B., who commanded 
the i6th Division from December, 1915, until it was broken 

up in April, 1918. 



BEAUMONT-HAMEL, JULY 1ST, 1916 in 

Captain Goodliffe, who was to have occupied the 
German front line when captured, examined the wounded 
in order to gain information. One poor fellow, whose 
jaw was shattered, could only mumble, but he insisted 
on telling his story. A guess was made at his meaning, 
" We are doing no good on the right." When this was 
repeated to him, he nodded and smiled, and went off to the 
dressing-station. Such was the spirit of the men in one 
of the worst experiences of the war. 

The total casualties for the day amounted to 490, 
including 20 officers, three of them killed. This was in 
addition to the eight officers who became casualties during 
the preliminary bombardment. Lieut. -Colonel G. S. 
Guyon was killed while gallantly leading the 16th Battalion 
West Yorks. The battalion had suffered, in fact, worse 
than in the landing in Gallipoli, and drastic reorganisation 
was necessary. Captain Swifte assumed command with 
Captain Goodliffe as second and Lieutenant P. T. 0. Boult 
as Adjutant. 

Dearden and Baldwin alone of the officers who went over 
the top did not become causalties and the former had his 
steel helmet dented by a shell. For forty-eight hours the 
wounded dribbled in, some of them mad. The Germans 
left their trenches under a Red Cross flag and collected 
some of the wounded. They also removed Lewis guns on 
stretchers, a slight blot on otherwise unexceptional 
behaviour ! 

On July 2nd the artillery was extremely active on both 
sides and the day was given over to the salvage of dead 
and wounded. On the 4th the 2nd Battalion were relieved 
by two battalions of the 4th Division, and later in the 
month they passed from the Somme area. 

Gommecourt. — Farther north, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th 
Londons had been involved in the subsidiary attack south 
of the Gommecourt salient, the 1st being in divisional 
reserve. The 2nd Londons lay in the front line until 
1.30 p.m., when D Company were ordered up to the 
first German line (Ferret Trench) ; but Lieutenant H. 



112 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

W. Everitt and several men were hit as they left the 
trenches and the company made three unsuccessful 
attempts to cross the open in the face of the artillery and 
machine gun fire. A little later A and C Companies were 
directed to make good the German front line on the left 
and right of Ferret Trench and to recover parts of the 
trenches beyond. C, on the left, was held up before the 
German wire. Captain Handyside was wounded about 
15 yards from the front line but crawled forward encourag- 
ing his men until killed by a shell. After dark about fifty 
of the men, including many wounded, crawled back. 
A Company fared similarly, losing all its officers and all 
but 35 men ; and at 3.15 p.m. the battalion were ordered 
to cease the attempt to reinforce and to hold the old front 
line. Soon after noon the Germans showed a white flag 
in Ferret trench and an informal truce took place for about 
an hour for the collection of wounded. Ten minutes 
before the end of the truce the Germans gave warning by 
firing shells over the men. Some of the wounded stated 
that the Germans had given them coffee during the night. 
On July 3rd the battalion received the congratulations 
of the divisional general on their gallantry. Indeed, 
there was no lack of courage and the 2nd Londons lost 
12 officers, including Captains Handyside and Garland 
killed, and 241 other ranks. 

The role of the 3rd Londons was to dig a communication 
trench from " Z" hedge to the junction of Fir and Firm 
Trenches — on the left of the point which C Company of the 
3rd Londons attacked ; but when this was begun at 
10.10 a.m., the German barrage was so heavy that the task 
had to be abandoned. " Z" hedge, occupied by Second 
Lieutenant Johnson and No. 15 Platoon was so heavily 
shelled that at 1.15 p.m. only Johnson and one man were 
left. The battalion lost 3 officers and 120 other ranks. 

The 4th Londons supported the attack on the right of 
the 3rd, and they also came under so heavy a fire that any 
considerable or lasting success was impossible. At 
8.45 a.m. two companies were ordered to support the 



THE TERRITORIALS AT GOMMECOURT 113 

Rangers in the German front trench (Fetter) ; but, although 
six runners were despatched with the message by different 
routes and two others after an interval of fifteen minutes, 
only one returned, having failed to locate the left company. 
The others were all killed. A Company, very gallantly 
led by Captain A. R. Moore, went forward and pushed up 
to the second German line, but at that point all the officers 
had become casualties and all but 18 men. The two 
platoons of C Company who went forward suffered little 
more than the two who had not received the order, owing 
to the front line trench being destroyed by the German 
barrage. The company lost all their officers and were 
brought out of action by C.S.M. Davis. B Company, 
whose role was to " clear up," lost very terribly, and only 
about 10 men got back from the German line. The 
battalion had 23 officers and 700 other ranks, head- 
quarters and firing line on going into action, but only 
7 officers and 356 other ranks answered the roll call that 
night. But they had shown a fine courage and discipline, 
and, in the end, the function of the 56th Division had been 
fulfilled. 

Montauban. — The nth Royal Fusiliers took part 
in the attack of the 18th Division towards Montauban. 
It was their first battle and they engaged in it with 
peculiar zest. They had already tested the effect of our 
bombardment in a raid on June 27th/28th, in which 
Second Lieutenant W. R. Havard gained the M.C. ; and 
by 2 a.m. on July 1st they were in battle positions, as the 
left assaulting battalion of the brigade. About 4.30 a.m. 
tea was sent up and was warmly appreciated, for a fine 
rain was falling and the men were thoroughly chilled. 
About 7 a.m. a thick mist shrouded the foreground ; but 
before 7.30 it had cleared and the men went over the top 
" like bloodhounds let loose from the leash." The 
German trenches had been so battered that it was only 
with the utmost difficulty the men carried out the pre- 
arranged plan. The Fusiliers ran through the German 
barrage and went across their front line in great style. 



ii4 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

An attempt to check the advance from Austrian Support 
was dealt with, one of the machine guns being rushed by 
Lance-Corporal A. Payne. Between Bund Trench and 
Pommiers Trench, a space of some 500 yards, uncut wire 
was encountered by the battalion on the right of the 
Fusiliers, and the consequent check was seized upon by 
the Germans in Mametz to strike against the battalion's 
left flank. Second Lieutenant Parr-Dudley turned his 
platoon half-left and, with a vigorous charge, accounted 
for the small enemy party, but lost his life in the action. 

A small party bombed up Black Alley, leading to 
Pommiers Trench. Private W. T. Taverner, locating a 
machine gun in the latter trench, and unable to get at the 
gunner, won a M.M. by standing on top of the emplace- 
ment and directing the waves right and left. Private 
J. Nicholson shot six German snipers and then knocked 
out a machine gun. And so by numerous acts of indivi- 
dual bravery and initiative Pommiers Trench was won, 
the Fusiliers securing a machine gun. There was then a 
pause and a Fusilier officer noted that " the men were by 
this time quite cool and collected, and apparently very 
happy. Several of them were holding miniature sing- 
songs, whilst others were energetically shaking hands and 
wishing their officers good luck." 

Pommiers Redoubt had still to be taken, and this was 
the worst stage of the day's fighting. Captain Johnson 
was held in Black Alley by a machine gun, and could not 
approach that way. He then attempted to take the 
redoubt from the rear. Second Lieutenant Savage 
accounted for the snipers in Beetle Alley, on the north- 
west, and Johnson was able to bring his machine guns up 
to enfilade the front of the redoubt. With this assistance 
the Bedfordshires were able to advance frontally, and the 
obstacle was won at 9.30 a.m. Beetle Alley was rushed 
shortly afterwards, but an hour's delay was experienced 
here, as the flanking battalions were not up. At length 
the advance was resumed, and in the afternoon the 
Fusiliers were 1,000 yards still farther ahead, in White 



MONTAUBAN AND LA BOISSELLE 115 

Trench, below Mametz Wood. A line of strong points 
was begun later in the day. " It was very hard for the 
diggers, but it was really pitiful to see the others. Every- 
body was tired out, and I had to keep on constantly 
waking the men up, for as soon as they touched the 
ground they automatically succumbed into deep sleep. 
It is not altogether fun being so tired as we all were in the 
face of the enemy." * Digging was continued until dawn 
was breaking. 

The battalion had made one of the deepest advances 
of the day. On July 2nd the Bedfordshires were with- 
drawn, and the Fusiliers took over the defence of the 
brigade front till the following day, when, on relief, they 
returned to Carnoy. They had lost very heavily. Savage, 
Parr-Dudley, Mild and Greenwood were killed, and 
49 O.R. ; 148 were wounded, four were suffering from 
shell-shock, and 17 missing — a very much smaller casualty 
list than that of the 2nd Battalion, who had fought 
their heroic abortive battle at Beaumont Hamel. On 
July 5th they were visited by officers of the 4 th Battalion, 
who were later to take over from them. 

La Boisselle. — On the following days the victory of 
July 1st was rounded off in a series of local operations. 
On the 3rd the 9th Battalion were in support, just north 
of Oviilers, during the 12th Division's unsuccessful attack 
on that day. Four days later the 13th Battalion had 
moved to the right of the 9th, and delivered an attack. 
La Boisselle had fallen on the 3rd, with part of Oviilers. 
But the latter and Contalmaison were unreduced, and the 
13th Battalion struck between the two.f At 2 a.m. on 
July 7th the 13th Battalion was assembled in the old 
German line in front of La Boisselle, with orders not to 
attack without orders from the brigade, or until the 
flanks were well ahead ; but at 8.25 the flanks had 
advanced, and, touch being lost with the brigade, the 

* Captain Aley's diary. 

t This attack was of some importance, but it is not mentioned in 
the despatch, nor in any book that I have seen . 

1 % 



n6 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

order to advance was given. Major Ardagh led off with 
Nos. i and 2 Companies, with bombing sections covering 
the flanks. Due east of La Boisselle some resistance was 
encountered that held up No. 2 Company for some time, 
and when this was overcome, the right flank had lost 
touch with the brigade on the south. The battalion had 
lost direction, and at 9.30 a.m. the right flank was swung 
back to within about 1,000 yards due west of Contal- 
maison. The line was consolidated, and it was at this 
point that casualties were experienced from the German 
artillery. On the following day the battalion was ordered 
to push on to the next line. Captain Nelson took Nos. 3 
and 4 Companies to this objective, which stretched from 
a little below the main Albert road to about 700 yards 
west of Contalmaison. A small party pushed too far 
ahead, and suffered severely ; but in the two days' 
operations, with fairly moderate casualties, the battalion 
had advanced the line materially, captured a battery of 
field guns, a few machine guns, and nearly 200 prisoners. 
Lieutenant Bleaden was killed on July 7th ; Captains Bliss 
and Nelson and Second Lieutenants Lewis and Morgan 
were wounded. The casualties in other ranks were 20 
killed, 127 wounded and 13 missing. 

Ovillers. — On the 7th two other Fusilier battalions 
were also engaged in the battle. The 8th and 9th 
Battalions of the 36th Brigade, with the 7th Sussex 
between them, made another attempt to capture Ovillers, 
and few more costly actions were fought in the whole of 
the battle of the Somme. The 8th Battalion was on the 
right, and the plan was to take Ovillers from the S.W. 
flank. The bombardment began at 4.30 a.m., and at 
8.26 the two leading companies, A and D, crawled over 
the parapet and lay out in the open. The weather was 
bad ; and though no rain fell during the night, the fumes 
of the gas shells were blanketed into the hollows of the 
ground, and formed a death-trap for many who fell 
wounded. Lieut. -Colonel Annesley, waving his stick, led 
the attack as the barrage lifted, and the men leaped 



ATTACK ON OVILLERS, JULY 7TH 117 

forward into a withering machine-gun fire. The Prussian 
Guards who held these battered positions were worthy 
foemen, and though the first and second trenches were 
captured, the cost was very terrible. Annesley, a most 
gallant officer, was early hit in the wrist. Later he was 
wounded in the ankle ; but he still kept on, and for a 
time the final objective was in the 8th's hands. Annesley 
was at length shot above the heart, and fell into a shell- 
hole, where he lay till evening, when he was taken to 
Albert and died that night. Shortly after noon the 
Fusiliers were in Ovillers, and the brigade held about half 
of it on a north and south line. But every officer engaged 
was either killed, wounded or missing. Captain Feather- 
stonhaugh, who had been wounded, but refused to leave, 
was killed. So also were Captains Chard and Franklin. 
Captain and Adjutant Robertson- Walker was never heard 
of again, and Second Lieutenant Procter was killed ; 
17 other officers were wounded. The battalion had gone 
into action 800 strong ; they mustered 160 at night, but 
held on until relieved on the following day. 

The 9th had fared similarly. They had fought under 
the same conditions, and their losses were only slightly 
less than those of the 8th Battalion. Rawlins, Cook, 
Philipps, Street, Osborne, Bindett, Peacock and Manson 
were killed, and Vere-Smith later died of wounds. Spiers, 
Brown, Bastable, Twiddy, Garrood (missing), Mackenzie 
and Evans were wounded. In all about 180 men came 
out. The gallant survivors of both battalions were 
congratulated, and it is merely the sober truth that 
the ordeal through which they had come was unique. 
Ovillers held out some days longer, and it was not taken 
until the village had been more completely obliterated 
than any other in the Somme area and its garrison reduced 
to 126. The two Fusilier battalions carried the reduction 
to its penultimate stage. 

When the 10th Battalion came up on July 10th they 
left one amazing experience to go to another. On the 
night of the 9th the battalion camp at Albert was heavily 



uS ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

shelled, and a grenade dump (50,000) detonated, wounding 
an officer, killing one man and wounding two others. But 
in the front line death and desolation were everywhere. 
La Boiselle was level with the ground. The trenches were 
battered and exposed. Dead bodies lay about on all 
sides. At 9 p.m. on July 10th C and B Companies were 
pushed up in relief of the 13th Rifle Brigade, who, attack- 
ing towards Pozieres, had suffered from machine-gun fire ; 
and the battalion lay in advanced positions under heavy 
shell fire for two days. The men preferred attack when 
losses sustained went to pay the price of some tangible 
success, or at least to further an obvious purpose. 

Trones Wood. — One platoon (No. 14) of D Company 
of the nth Battalion assisted the 12th Middlesex in their 
successful attack on Trones Wood on July 14th to 15th. 
As they were moving up from Maricourt in the early hours 
of the 15th they ran into a barrage on the Maricourt- 
Briquetin road. They had " one casualty, a poor devil 
who gets his head blown off by a large piece of shrapnel. 
Still no signs of fear. The men keep in their fours, and go 
on as if nothing had happened." * Aley was wounded in 
Trones Wood, and the platoon suffered heavily. After 
serious losses from the continual bombardment the 
battalion left the Somme area on the 18th. 

Pozieres. — Meanwhile the 10th Battalion had been 
engaged, and had fought their way to the orchard on the 
south-west entrance of Pozieres. At 9 a.m. on July 15th 
they had advanced up Sausage Valley in support of the 
main attack. About 300 yards from the village they were 
held up by machine-gun fire. The hollow road seemed to 
be blocked with troops ; and it was obvious the attack 
had failed before it was abandoned. The CO. asked per- 
mission to place a barrage at the southern end of the 
village and to take part in the attack. The battalion 
advanced with a dash, and Lieutenant F. M. Taylor, with 
D Company, seized the orchard, and an attempt was made 
to penetrate the outlying orchards. But this movement 

* Officer's diary. 



POZIERES, JULY 15TH 119 

was defeated by concentrated machine-gun fire, and the 
advanced positions had to be evacuated. Headquarters 
in chalk pit, about 900 yards from the edge of the village, 
had been in constant communication with all the com- 
panies, and in the afternoon a renewed effort was made. 
After a pause for reorganisation the village was bom- 
barded from 5 to 6 p.m., and the signal was given for the 
advance. But at this point there was an unfortunate 
mischance. The rockets failed, owing to dampness ; and 
the battalion did not start in unison. Some advanced, 
others still waited, and the blow failed. Most determined 
and repeated attempts were made to rush the village, but 
nothing could live in such a machine-gun fire. The 
battalion were driven back to cover in the afternoon 
positions, and the 10th Loyal North Lancashires took over 
the positions after dark. All the company commanders 
were casualties, and so heavily had the battalion lost that, 
with the division, they were taken out of the line. 

High Wood. — To the south-east the 4th Battalion were 
assisting in the capture of the Bazentins. On July 8th 
they had relieved the nth Battalion at Carnoy, and on 
the 14th they provided working and carrying parties for 
the brigade attack on Bazentin-le-Grand. A few days 
later the 20th Battalion were sent to hold the front line in 
Bazentin, and, later, supported the 19th Brigade attack 
on High Wood. As the brigade cleared the southern end 
of the wood the battalion cleared up and consolidated in 
their rear, and at least this part of the wood was securely 
held that night. They organised a front and support line 
across the wood from east to west, with a strong post in 
the support line, and held on to the position until relieved 
at midnight. Their task cost them dearly. Lieut. -Colonel 
Bennett was wounded ; Captain Toller, Lieutenant Wall- 
work, Lieutenant Rawson, Lieutenant Palmer, Second 
Lieutenant Price and Second Lieutenant Coventry were 
killed ; Second Lieutenant Hine was among the missing ; 
Captain Hollingworth, Second Lieutenant Bell, Second 
Lieutenant Cooke, Second Lieutenant Brooke, Second 



120 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Lieutenant Fabricius, Second Lieutenant Ives and Second 
Lieutenant Herbert were wounded. The casualties in 
other ranks were 375 killed, wounded and missing. 

Delville Wood. — On the 20th the 4th Battalion moved 
up to Delville Wood, which saw a number of Fusilier 
battalions in the next few days. This wood, which the 
soldiers aptly called " Devil's Wood," was one of the many 
German positions which were apparently captured many 
times without ceasing to be the scene of very bitter 
fighting. The South Africans had their outposts on the 
outer fringes of the wood on the night of July 15th ; but 
on the 1 8th a heavy German counter-attack swept away 
the British troops, and in the recoil only the southern end 
of the wood could be retained. The following day was 
occupied by the struggle to clear the wood once again ; and 
it was in the lull after the fighting had temporarily died 
down that the Fusiliers took over from the Essex, Suffolk 
and Welsh Fusiliers in the south-east of the wood. 

It was a deadly area. Even in getting into position 
40 casualties were experienced, but the battalion, who had 
been complimented for their steadiness after Le Cateau, 
showed no trace of wavering. There were practically no 
trenches, and the position was methodically consolidated 
under the worst conditions. A continuous trench line was 
constructed, though the men were working so close to the 
Germans that many British shells fell into the trench. 
At 10 p.m. on the 21st the Germans delivered a local 
counter-attack. Well prepared and vigorously pressed, it 
still disturbed the Fusiliers very little. The repulse cost 
the battalion a number of casualties : Major Wrenford, 
Second Lieutenant Cook, and 30 other ranks were wounded. 
Second Lieutenant Sparkes was shot through the head 
earlier in the day. He was in command of Z Company, 
and was looking for a place for two of his platoons. His 
was a well-known Fusilier name. 

When the 4th Battalion were relieved at midnight on the 
24th they had lost 12 officers and 340 other ranks, killed, 
wounded and missing, in thirteen days, without taking 



DELVILLE WOOD, JULY 27TH 121 

part in any attack. In beating off the counter-attack in 
Delville Wood they lost scarcely more than the daily 
average. The losses under such conditions form a striking 
illustration of the plane on which the Somme battle was 
fought. 

The 2nd Division had now been brought to the Somme 
area, and the first of its four Fusilier battalions to enter 
the battle zone was the 17th. It was also their first 
entrance into any battle zone when they took over the 
support line at Longueval Alley on July 25th. We have 
already seen that actual attack was not necessary for 
the suffering of casualties, and Lieutenant Richmond was 
the first to succumb. There was a heavy bombardment 
with tear shells, and he was gassed on the first day in the 
trenches. On the following day there was little inter- 
mission in the German shelling, and with every precaution 
15 further casualties were suffered. On the 27th A and B 
Companies went to Delville Wood in the afternoon, and 
on this occasion there were 118 casualties. 

But this was the day on which Delville Wood was again 
overrun. Four battalions of the Royal Fusiliers had their 
share in this memorable exploit, and the place of honour 
was given to the 23rd Battalion. They had had an uncom- 
fortable time in Bernafay Wood previous to the attack. 
Words fail to do justice to the situation at this moment. 
It was hot weather. The ground was pitted and torn by 
shell fire. Dead bodies lay about, and before the troops 
began to move up the Germans had indulged in a heavy 
bombardment with gas shells. Fortunately a welcome 
breeze made the wearing of masks unnecessary. The 
approach was covered by the British barrage, and near 
Longueval one shell fell close to the Fusiliers, badly 
wounding one man. 

" It's hard lines," said the man when the CO. went to 
him. 

" I know it is," said the CO., " but you'll soon be all 
right. The stretcher-bearers are coming." 

" Oh ! it's not that," was the man's rejoinder. " It's 



122 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

being hit just now ! Here have I been all this time in 

France without having a real go at the b s, and now 

the chance has come, here I go and get knocked out." * 

The battalion formed up in a trench at the edge of the 
wood with the ist K.R.R.C. on the right and the ist Royal 
Berks in support. The coolness of the men was remark- 
able, and one man, hearing that there were still five 
minutes to zero, calmly went back to his breakfast. The 
position to be assaulted was as difficult as any in the 
Somme area. The wood was now merely a collection of 
bare stumps, but the trees which had crashed and the thick 
undergrowth provided ideal obstacles and cover. The 
ground seemed to be alive with machine guns, and the 
German barrage effectually cut off all approach to the 
wood. The defending troops were the Brandenburgers ; 
and after the first objective had been captured, numbers 
of them were taken prisoner. 

The barrage lifted at 7.10 a.m., and the first wave, con- 
sisting of A and B Companies, who had formed up in front 
of the existing trenches when the barrage began, went 
forward, and with little opposition captured the Princes 
Street line. This avenue practically cut the wood in two 
from east to west ; and it was occupied and consolidation 
begun within nine minutes of the advance. D and C 
Companies had occupied the line vacated by the first 
wave, and when, at 7.40 a.m., the barrage lifted again, 
the second wave passed through the first. The barrage 
had lifted again (8.10 a.m.), and the advance began on the 
final objective, while the second wave was struggling with 
a redoubt on the left front. Excellently covered and 
strongly manned, the obstacle seemed to defy capture 
until two Lewis guns were sent up and placed so as to take 
the redoubt from the flank. Assisted by bombers, the Lewis 
guns soon put an end to the resistance. Two machine guns 
were put out of action, and Sergeant Royston, finding a 
third intact, turned it upon part of the garrison who were 

* Major N. A. Lewis, D.S.O., M.C., quoted in " The 23rd (Service) 
Battalion Royal Fusiliers." 



DELVILLE WOOD CLEARED, JULY 27TH 123 

escaping. Shortly afterwards (9.40 a.m.) the final objective 
was captured, and the men dug in on the further edge of 
the wood, with a good field of fire. The rest of the day 
was occupied in dealing with attempts to get round the 
flanks. 

At n a.m. the 1st K.R.R.C, who held the exposed flank 
on the right, were attacked by German bombers, and B 
Company bombers and a machine gun were sent to support. 
At this moment also began the enemy bombardment of the 
whole of the wood, and, persisting until midnight, it made 
life very precarious. Most of the casualties suffered by 
the 23rd were sustained in this ceaseless fire. But their 
position was safe compared with that of the K.R.R.C. The 
17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers lay south of the wood with 
the 22nd Battalion forward on their left. A and B Com- 
panies of the 22nd were sent up as carrying parties, and 
passed the headquarters of the 17th with S.A.A. and tools. 
At 1 p.m. a message was sent to the 22nd to reinforce the 
K.R.R.C. At 2 p.m. A and B Companies of the 17th 
moved up to Delville Wood, and before the end of the 
day every available man of the 22nd was thrown into the 
struggle on the right. At 3.30 p.m. a strong counter- 
attack was delivered by the enemy on this flank, and the 
situation was only cleared up by the assistance of the 
23rd's bombers and the full remaining strength of the 22nd. 
Captain Walsh collected all the carrying parties, to the 
number of about 250, and organised them into a fighting 
unit. Captain Gell took the last 100 men of C and D Com- 
panies up to the wood from Bernafay Wood, and with 
them held the south-east flank of the wood. The wood 
undoubtedly justified its nickname on this day. Wherever 
the men stood they were under shell fire, and it seemed 
impossible that any troops should be left to hold what had 
been won. 

But at the end of the day the wood was handed over 
intact ; and the 23rd, though they had lost 12 officers 
(5 killed) and 276 other ranks, came out at night, jauntily 
enough, smoking German cigars and well pleased with 



124 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

themselves. Theirs had been the straighter task of over- 
running German positions. They had taken six machine 
guns and, with the K.R.R.C., 160 prisoners. The 22nd, 
who had had the less stimulating task of beating off the 
continued attacks of the enemy and of suffering their shell 
fire, had possibly achieved a greater thing. Largely owing 
to them, the flank was held up, and unless this had been 
accomplished the wood would have been lost almost before 
it was won. They lost Captain Grant, commanding the 
brigade machine gun company, killed, 4 other officers 
wounded, and 189 other ranks killed, wounded and missing. 
The 17th lost Lieutenant Fletcher and Second Lieutenant 
Penny killed, 3 officers wounded, and 113 other ranks 
killed, wounded and missing. 

On July 30th C Company of the 24th Battalion was 
engaged. On the previous evening the battalion had 
taken over the front line from the southern edge of Delville 
Wood to Waterlot Farm, and on the 30th they advanced 
against a German trench some 600 yards east of Waterlot 
Farm. A thick mist lay over the ground as the men went 
forward, and it was very difficult to keep direction. When 
this initial and serious handicap had been overcome, it was 
found that the German wire had been uncut. " The king 
of the war," as the French called barbed wire, exercised 
its sovereignty once again. Captain C. S. Meares was 
killed on the wire, leading his men, and the company 
fought valiantly, but to no purpose. C Company attacked 
with 3 officers and 114 other ranks. One wounded officer 
and 11 other ranks remained at the end of the day. Such 
was the price paid for co-operation in the attack on 
Guillemont. 

During the next few days the 17th, 22nd and 23rd 
Battalions saw further service in this very perilous sector. 
On August 1st the 22nd Battalion moved into Delville 
Wood. Lieut. -Colonel Barnett Barker was placed in 
command of the wood, with the 23rd Battalion in support. 
These dispositions remained in force until the night of 
the 3rd, when the Royal Fusiliers were relieved during 



NIGHT ATTACK, AUGUST 3RD 125 

a heavy bombardment which caused a number of 
casualties. 

3^ Jf* 3|C JfC 

Pozieres Ridge. — The 8th and 9th Battalions were 
engaged once more in the first week of August in operations 
about Pozieres. That these were minor operations does 
not detract from their interest or from their influence on 
the capture of the Pozieres Ridge. The 8th Battalion 
attacked with the 6th Buffs. Their objective was a 
section of 4th Avenue, a trench north-west of Pozieres. 
The attack was made at n p.m. on the night of August 3rd, 
and as the barrage lifted two platoons of A and B 
Companies walked slowly forward until within 50 yards 
of the trench, when they charged. The Germans were 
taken completely by surprise, and the trench was captured. 
The Germans sent up phosphorus red flares which lit up 
the storming troops ; and they fought very well. Colonel 
Cope, commanding the Buffs, personally reconnoitred the 
ground during the attack, and owing to his prompt 
decision, part of the 5th Avenue trench was also seized 
and held. By midnight the position was being consoli- 
dated, and the two battalions had captured 2 officers (one 
wearing the Iron Cross) and 89 other ranks. Lieutenant 
Wardrop and Second Lieutenant A. Stiles were killed in 
the attack, and Second Lieutenant R. W. Hampton was 
wounded, and there were about 150 other casualties. 
About 1 a.m. a bombing block was established in the new 
trench, and Captain Clarke held it against two enemy 
attacks. As day broke on the 4th a company was seen 
to be charging down on the battalion's right flank. Only 
by good luck was disaster averted, for it was soon realised 
that these were the Sussex, who had lost direction in the 
dark. 

The darkness made it difficult to determine the positions 
with accuracy. At one time it was thought that Ration 
Trench had been taken. When the mistake was discovered 
later it was decided to attack the position in the evening 
with the three battalions of the 36th Brigade, the 2nd 



126 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Anzac Division co-operating with an advance to the north- 
east of Pozieres. Night attacks have their own peculiar 
difficulties and terrors. Even in broad daylight actions 
could rarely be carried out exactly as they were planned. 
So severe and constant was the bombardment by both 
sides that even villages were difficult to recognise, and 
trenches appeared to be little different from the pitted lines 
of shell-holes. 

In the attack on Ration Trench on August 4th many 
circumstances conspired to add to the strain on the men. 
The battalions engaged advanced on lines which might 
have led to hopeless confusion and did, in fact, result in 
isolated encounters of almost unimaginable horror. The 
Sussex were moving against a section of the trench which 
involved an attack in a westerly direction. The 9th 
Fusiliers were directed partly to the north. The New 
Zealands were striking north-east. Germans seemed to 
turn up everywhere during the night : in front, on the 
flanks, even in the rear, and the Fusiliers appeared to form 
little islands in a sea of enemy. Zero was at 9.15 p.m., 
but detailed attack orders were not issued till 8.17, and 
everything had to be arranged in less than an hour. The 
9th Battalion moved off at 3 p.m. to take over part of the 
8th Fusiliers' trenches, and were at once spotted by the 
Germans and shelled on the way. About 6.30 p.m. they 
were in position in parts of 3rd and 4th Avenues, approxi- 
mately 1,000 yards due west of Pozieres, after losing 
about 15 men while moving up. 

An intense bombardment began at zero. Five minutes 
later the two battalions advanced, and at about 50 yards 
from Ration Trench charged. The objectives were gained 
in less than an hour on the left, but on the right an 
unknown trench held up the attackers. At 1 a.m. on the 
5th came the first reports of Germans still existing between 
the lines. The Fusiliers began to be sniped from the rear, 
and the situation was not cleared up until the afternoon. 
The 8th Battalion had charged over the trench on their 
way to Ration Trench, and left unnoticed 2 officers and 



FIGHTING NEAR POZIERES, AUGUST 5TH-6TH 127 

100 other ranks. Lance-Corporal Camping * and one or 
two men who could speak German crawled out of their 
trench, though exposed to constant sniping, and threatened 
the Germans with a severe bombardment if they did not 
give themselves up before dark. The whole party then 
surrendered. They were part of a Jaeger battalion who 
had reached the trenches only a day or two before, and 
they had decided to break through Ration Trench to their 
own lines during the evening. 

The two battalions were now in contact and engaged in 
the work of consolidation. Bombing posts were organised 
in Ration Trench, and the day (August 5th) was generally 
quiet. But shortly after midnight a heavy bombardment 
of the lines began, and the shelling continued until 4 a.m. 
(6th). The 9th Battalion, lying west of the 8th, were 
subjected to a determined counter-attack during this time. 
Many of the men were quite new to warfare. For some it 
was their first experience of actual righting, and their 
bearing was admirable. The assault was made by 
flammenwerfers, supported by bombers using smoke as a 
screen. The flames burst through the clouds of smoke 
from various directions, and all the conditions of panic 
were present. The fumes alone were sufficient to over- 
power some of the men. But no panic took place. The 
situation was handled very coolly. The attack was made 
on the north-east end of Ration Trench, and about 20 men 
were extended in the open on either side of the trench with 
two Lewis guns. The attack was thus beaten off with a 
loss of only 40 yards of trench. Many fine incidents 

* I have been continually amazed at the uncanny skill with which 
published accounts of the various incidents of the war wrongly identify 
the units engaged. The Royal Fusiliers came in for more than their 
share of being passed over. An ironic poem written by Corporal 
Warren, of the nth Battalion, in the rhythm of the British Grenadiers, 
comments on this tendency. 

" The papers get the money, 
So they praise the Royal West Kents," 

is, perhaps, the least offensive distich. I am reminded of this by 
Mr. Gibbs' attribution of the whole of this incident to the men of 
Sussex, which in this case means the Sussex Regiment or nothing. 



128 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

marked this defence. Private Leigh Rouse * (9th), who 
had never visited the trenches before, was in the sap when 
the flammenwerfer attack began. He managed to get 
back along the trench and, though nearly choked with 
fumes and with his clothes burnt, refused to go to the 
dressing station. He continued to throw bombs until his 
arm gave out, and then, joining the covering party, used 
his rifle with great effect. 

During the next night, when another attack was 
expected, he remained close to the barricade. Sergeant 
Charles Quinnell f twice went out from Ration Trench 
with a patrol, and obtained valuable information. Most 
of the men in his platoon had never been in a front line 
trench before, and their remarkable coolness and endurance 
were largely due to his fine example. Lancc-Corporal 
Cyril Cross f took his Lewis gun into a shell-hole outside 
the trench during the flammenwerfer attack, and engaged 
the enemy, who were in great strength, at close range, 
inflicting many casualties until his gun was put out of 
action. Private Tom Crow f continued to throw bombs 
from the very edge of the flames, showing a complete 
disregard of the enemy. He was finally wounded by a 
sniper as he was closely pursuing the enemy. All these 
men belonged to A Company, commanded by Captain 
G. L. Cazalet, M.C., who had led his men across the open 
on the night of the 5th, in less than three-quarters of an 
hour had taken his objective, and was responsible for the 
defence of 500 yards of Ration Trench, the flank of which 
was held by the enemy. Though wounded, he refused to 
leave the trench ; and it was chiefly owing to his fine 
example that his company, though almost quite new to 
warfare, behaved so finely. He was awarded a well- 
deserved D.S.O. 

All day on the 6th and 7th the German bombardment 
of the Fusiliers continued. In the afternoon of the latter 
day the two battalions were relieved. Both had lost very 

* Awarded M.M. 
t Awarded D.C.M. 



FOURTH BATTALION AT GUILLEMONT 129 

heavily. In addition to those already mentioned, the 
8th lost Lieutenant J. A. Pearson ; Captain S. H. Clarke 
was wounded, and there were about 30 other ranks killed 
and wounded. The losses of the 9th were heavier. 
Green, Stevens, Lupton, Heaver and Bungay were killed ; 
Knott, Cazalet, Pilgrim, Calwell, Fox, Thornton and 
Fifoot were wounded ; and there were 281 other ranks 
killed, wounded and missing. But they took prisoner 
2 officers and 1 wounded officer with 135 other 
ranks, and received congratulations from the Commander- 
in-Chief. The battalions marched off to Bouzincourt, 
and on the 10th lined the road at Senlis for the inspection 
by the King and the Prince of Wales. 

* * * * 

Guillemont. — On the other operative flank of the 
British attack several other Fusilier battalions were now 
engaged. Of the two great pivots of the German defensive 
in what Sir Douglas Haig calls the second phase of the 
battle of the Somme one, Guillemont, still remained 
untaken. It had been entered on July 30th, but was 
evacuated, as the flanking positions still remained intact. 
It was entered once more on August 8th, and again 
abandoned for the same reason. From these two failures 
it was evident that the capture of the village could not 
be regarded safely as an isolated enterprise, and it was 
accordingly arranged for a series of attacks in progressive 
stages in conjunction with the French, whose sphere of 
action was not 2,000 yards to the south. 

Three battalions of the Royal Fusiliers played their 
part in these operations. In " the first stage of the 
prearranged scheme " * the 4th Battalion was engaged. 
At this time Major H. E. Meade was in command, as 
Lieut. -Colonel Hely-Hutchinson had been thrown from 
his horse on the nth and had been removed to hospital. 
On August 15th the battalion took over the trenches 
facing the southern corner of Guillemont. The 1st 
Battalion was only 1,000 yards to their rear, preparing 

* Despatch. 

F. K 



130 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

to take its share in the struggle. On the way up the 
4th had lost Second Lieutenant Goolden, who was killed 
by a shell. The approach was across open country over 
which the enemy had direct observation, and the Germans 
had concentrated a heavy volume of machine gun fire in 
the village. This may serve to explain why the attack 
failed in spite of the most gallant and persistent efforts 
of all ranks. The 4th had on their left flank the 24th 
Division, and on their right the King's Liverpools. X and 
Z Companies led the attack at 5.40 p.m. (August 16th) 
after a short but intense bombardment, but they encoun- 
tered a very heavy machine gun fire. Both company 
commanders were killed as they crossed the parapet, and 
before the fighting ceased every other officer had been 
killed or wounded, and there were 160 other ranks 
casualties. It was a discouraging episode ; and the badly 
weakened unit were left to hold the original front line 
under a heavy bombardment until the 18th, when a 
further attempt was made by other troops. The battalion 
passed to brigade reserve, and was organised into two 
companies. 

After this abortive attempt to eat into the Guillemont 
defences the positions were bombarded for thirty-six 
hours, when the 1st Battalion co-operated in immediate 
support. They had been in the area from August 8th, 
when they took over trenches from Delville Wood to 
Trones Wood, with headquarters in Waterlot Farm. It 
was a warm quarter, and two days after taking over the 
line the situation was made still more uncomfortable by 
one of those unhappy mischances which, apparently, could 
not be altogether prevented. A number of our own 
0/2 shells fell upon B Company, and caused 23 casualties. 
Lieutenant W. van Grierson * showed great gallantry 
in rescuing buried men, and, unfortunately, was mortally 
wounded in so doing. Private Tanner * and Corporal 
Silcox * courageously brought Private Lynch from No 

* Van Grierson was awarded the M.C., Silcox and Tanner the M.M., 
for the same operation. 



GUILLEMONT, AUGUST 17TH— i8th 131 

Man's Land in broad daylight, from within 100 yards of 
the German trenches, under heavy machine gun fire. 

After a few days in the rear trenches, they took up their 
positions for attack on the 17th. C Company was in 
Trones Wood, supporting the 8th Buffs, A in Sherwood 
Trench, in support of the 3rd Rifle Brigade, while B and 
D occupied Dummy Trench and Longueval Alley. The 
attack began at 3.30 p.m. on a broad front, with three 
other divisions co-operating. The objective of the 3rd 
Rifle Brigade was Guillemont station, while the 8th Buffs 
were directed against a trench some 200 yards from the 
front line in the direction of Ginchy. Both objectives 
were attained. The station, lying on a light railway 
just outside and to the north of Guillemont, had become 
a tactical feature of some importance, and later in the 
month it was the scene of a vigorous counter-attack. 
Only on the extreme right of the 24th Division did the 
attack fail, and this led to the postponement of a third 
advance timed for 5.30 a.m. on the 19th. The battalion 
on this occasion suffered 66 casualties, including three 
officers wounded. 

The 12th Battalion had been in reserve during the 
battle. They had assisted in covering the attack on the 
16th by putting up a smoke barrage on part of the front. 
On the 18th they provided a party to consolidate during 
the attack, and carrying parties for S.A.A. to the front 
line. After dark No. 4 Company, under Captain Ander- 
son, went up to the front fine and dug a communication 
trench from the old fine to the new positions. 
* * * * 

One of the minor excitements of the battle occurred 
early on August 21st. An ammunition dump in Bernafay 
Wood was fired. Continuous explosions came from the 
Stokes mortar ammunition. Flying splinters filled the 
air, and men were blown bodily into the fire by the 
explosion. R.S.M. Hack (1st Battalion) very gallantly 
rescued wounded in the midst of the flying fragments of 
exploding bombs, and there were many casualties in the 

k a 



132 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

attempts to put the fire out. Second Lieutenant Tiffany 
(12th Battalion) rescued several men who had been blown 
into the fire, and at length the mishap expended itself 
without compelling the postponement of the afternoon 
operations against Guillemont. The ist Battalion on this 
occasion had two companies, A and D, engaged, with the 
3rd Rifle Brigade on the left and the 8th Queen's (72nd 
Brigade) on the right. The Fusiliers advanced at 3.30 p.m. 
" Hill Street " and " Brompton Road "were the objectives. 
The ist Battalion got away with great dash, and after a 
strenuous fight drove the enemy out of the trench in front 
of Hill Street ; but the flanking battalions were both held 
up, and, although the Fusiliers pushed well ahead, it was 
necessary to withdraw to the trench already mentioned. 
A Company, under Captain Bell, went into battle only 70 
strong, and both the company commanders and Second 
Lieutenant Jacobs displayed great courage and coolness. 
The headquarters bombers also did good service, and 
Sergeant Pye, though wounded, volunteered to take a 
message to his company commander. He was wounded 
again as he returned. This was the ist Battalion's last 
period of service in the Somme battle. On relief, the 
following day, they went to Happy Valley and later to 
Bussus : "a very pleasant place," notes the battalion 
diary, " after the desolation in and around the villages of 
the battle area." The battalion had suffered 403 casualties 
during the Somme operations. Captain Bell was awarded 
the D.S.O., Second Lieutenant Jacobs the M.C., R.S.M. 
Hack the M.C., and Sergeant Pye the D.C.M. 
* * * * 

Fighting still continued in and about Delville Wood, 
but on August 24th the situation was much improved by 
an attack in which the 20th Royal Fusiliers took part. 
The advance began at 5.45, and the battalion sent up 
two platoons to occupy part of the trench captured 
by the 100th Brigade. The trench lay to the west of 
the northern part of Delville Wood, and the Fusiliers 
took over a bombing post at the corner of the new 



GUILLEMONT TO GINCHY 133 

trench, and at once set about connecting it with the 
support line. 

The 12th Battalion were suddenly ordered up to this 
sector of the front on September 1st. On the way up they 
were delayed for two hours in Caterpillar Valley owing to 
a very heavy gas barrage and the guides going astray. 
Many of the men were very sick from the effects of the 
gas, and it was only at 3.30 a.m. that the battalion arrived 
in Carlton Trench, which lay between Delville Wood and 
High Wood. The front here had been lifted well to the 
north-east since the 20th Battalion had left, but the 3rd 
Rifle Brigade and the 2nd Leinsters were very much 
weakened in the forward positions. No. 3 Company was 
sent up on the 1st to reinforce the 3rd Rifle Brigade, and 
on the following day a platoon, ten bombers and one Lewis 
gun of No. 1 Company were sent to the 2nd Leinsters in 
the bombing post in Worcester Trench. The day was dull 
and misty, and the Germans attacked this post with great 
determination, but were repulsed, though the Lewis gun 
team had several casualties. Early in the evening the 
remainder of the battalion took over the trench held by 
the 3rd Rifle Brigade, and on the following day co-operated 
in the general attack which swept over Guillemont into 
Ginchy. The 24th Division was represented in this attack 
by the 8th Buffs. 

At midday the whole line advanced. The sector between 
High Wood and Delville Wood was obstinately defended, 
and the Buffs and Fusiliers could make little impression 
on it. The Buffs' main objective was the strong point at 
the junction of the Wood Lane Trench and Tea Trench, 
which lay at the north-west corner of Delville Wood. 
No. 4 Company, under Captain Anderson, bombed up 
Wood Lane towards the strong point ; but though the 
Buffs attacked twice, they failed to reach their objective. 
The artillery preparation had not been sufficient to rub 
the surface off the opposition. From Orchard Trench the 
Fusilier Lewis guns did considerable damage, and claimed 
to have caused at least 100 casualties. But this was the 



134 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

only success achieved on this small sector, and the 
battalion suffered 58 casualties, 10 killed. They were 
relieved on September 4th and went south to Fricourt, 
and later left the Somme area. 

Ginchy. — On September 3rd Ginchy was seized, as 
well as Guillemont ; but the former could not be retained 
in face of the immediate German counter-attacks, and 
after three days' struggle the greater part of the village 
reverted to the enemy. Preparations for a further attack 
upon Ginchy continued without intermission, and at 
4.45 p.m. on September 9th the attack was reopened 
on the whole of the Fourth Army front. At four o'clock 
a heavy enemy barrage was put down on the assembly 
trenches of the 4th Londons in Leuze Wood, but the 
battalion went forward at zero in six waves. In little 
over an hour the battalion captured its objectives and 
pushed out two advanced posts to positions overlooking 
Morval-Lesbceufs road. The Rangers were not in touch 
on the left flank, and a strong point was established ; and 
during the night the advanced posts were connected up 
and manned by Lewis guns. 

Meanwhile A Company of the 2nd Londons had been 
involved in the attack of the London Rifle Brigade 
further east. At 6 p.m. this regiment called upon their 
support company, but the barrage was so heavy that 
A Company of the 2nd Londons went forward instead. 
Taking up their position in the north-east corner of Leuze 
Wood, they began at once to suffer casualties. They 
were ordered to bomb up Combles Trench. Captain J. W. 
Long and Second Lieutenant E. W. Lockey were killed 
by snipers, and, all the officers becoming casualties, C.S.M. 
Pellow took over the command. But the attack failed. 
The strength of the company had been weakened too 
much. The attempt of B Company to support on the 
following day similarly failed with heavy loss. But the 
two battalions had contributed to the very considerable 
advance of their (56th) division. 

Flers. — The ground had now been prepared for 



ATTACK WTIH TANKS, SEPTEMBER 15TH 135 

another general attack, and on September 15th " The 
third phase — Exploitation of Success " * began. " Prac- 
tically the whole of the forward crest of the main ridge on 
a front of some 9,000 yards from Delville Wood to the road 
above Mouquet Farm was now in our hands, and with it 
the advantage of observation over the slopes beyond. . . . 
The general plan of the combined Allied attack which was 
opened on September 15th was to pivot on the high ground 
south of the Ancre and north of the Albert-Bapaume road, 
while the Fourth Army devoted its whole effort to the 
rearmost of the enemy's original systems of defence 
between Morval and Le Sars." f The Royal Fusiliers 
were represented in this advance, the greatest that had 
been made in any one day since the opening of the offen- 
sive, by the 26th and 32nd Battalions, both of them in the 
124th Brigade of the 41st Division, which was in the com- 
mand of a Royal Fusilier, General Lawford ; and by the 
2nd Londons. For thirty-six hours the positions to be 
attacked had been prepared by a continuous bombard- 
ment, which had, as usual, battered some places to dust, 
but had left intact obstacles that might have wrecked 
the plan. To deal with such eventualities, however, the 
army now had a new instrument, the tank, which made its 
first appearance in this battle. 

For the 26th and 32nd Battalions it was their first 
experience of battle. They had only been in France four 
months, but both of them created an excellent precedent 
in their first action. Each of them was in support, the 
32nd on the right and the 26th on the left, following the 
10th Queen's R.W.S. Regiment and the 21st K.R.R.C. 
Three tanks were allotted to the brigade. 

At 6.20 a.m. the leading waves moved off. The 32nd, 
who had been assembled some fifty yards inside Delville 
Wood, advanced with the utmost precision with the 
14th Division on their right. The barrage was followed 
very closely, and the battalion met with little resistance 

* Despatch. 
f Despatch. 



136 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

in Tea Support Trench and Switch Trench, half-way to 
Flers. They had been advancing in four waves originally, 
but at this point the fourth wave was left behind to con- 
solidate, and the other three waves became mixed up with 
the survivors of the ioth Queen's and, on the flanks, with 
men of the 14th Division and of the 26th Battalion, who had 
lost direction. When Switch Trench had been won the 
battalion was reduced to two parties, under Captain H. A. 
Robinson and Lieutenant W. V. Aston respectively. 
Robinson pushed on with his party, about 80 strong, 
beyond Flers, capturing three field guns, five Bavarian 
officers and about 40 other ranks. The field guns were 
later destroyed by the Germans' concentrated artillery 
fire. Aston's party, after being held up some time by 
machine gun fire, advanced with a tank beyond Flers. 
The battalion in this very successful advance lost 10 
officers (wounded) and 283 other ranks killed, wounded 
and missing. 

The 26th Battalion advanced with the 32nd against 
little resistance, but in the early part of the action the left 
battalion passed through our own barrage. Captain 
Etchells was at this moment senior officer on the left of 
the brigade front, and he promptly and coolly reorganised 
the line. With this readjustment the troops were able to 
advance again.* Later in the morning there was a check 
on the brigade front, but the same officer went forward to 
a tank lying south of Flers and arranged that the 26th 
would follow if the tank would lead. This arrangement 
was carried out. The tank moved along the south side of 
Flers, assisting the troops who were in the village by firing 
on the retreating enemy and also assisting the 26th to get 
well ahead. In the late afternoon the battalion were 
north and east of the village. In the battle the 26th lost 
9 officers (5 of them killed) and 255 other ranks killed, 
wounded and missing. The losses of both battalions, 
though very heavy considering the numbers involved, 
were less than might have been expected, for the German 

* Captain Etchells was awarded the M.C. for this service. 



ACTION OF SEPTEMBER 15TH 137 

artillery, though late in starting, was most skilfully 
handled. The smallest parties moving in the battle zone 
at once became a target. At times even a single stretcher 
party was marked down. It was for the greatest courage 
and devotion to duty under these conditions that the 
medical officer of the 26th, Lieutenant J. Mclntyre, 
R.A.M.C, was awarded the M.C. He was four times 
buried by shell explosions, but each time recommenced 
his work of attending to the wounded. 

One of the singular points about this action is that the 
tanks impressed our own men more than the enemy, 
though at one point the Fusiliers were amused to see a 
panic among the enemy, who caught a drift of a tank's 
exhaust fumes. They imagined it a new form of gas, and 
attempted to adjust their gas helmets before retiring. 

The 32nd Battalion were relieved on the morning of 
the 16th, but one company of the 26th remained at the 
front till night, when they followed the rest of the battalion 
and the 32nd to support positions. 

* * * * 

The 2nd Londons also attacked the same day. Their 
objective was the Loop Trench, connecting the sunken 
road with Combles Trench. C and D Companies attacked 
and very quickly gained all their objectives, with the 
exception of the junction of the sunken road and Loop 
Trench. Captain A. G. L. Jepson, Lieutenant P. C. 
Taylor and Second Lieutenant A. G. Sullivan were killed, 
and two officers were wounded, in the heavy bombing 
attacks against the captured positions. So great were the 
losses that all available men of A and B Companies were 
sent to the line to reinforce before three o'clock. Two 
blocks had been established, one in the north end of Loop 
Trench and the other in Combles Trench, and the battalion 
bombers were sent up in small parties to assist in holding 
them. But they also suffered heavy loss, and reinforce- 
ments had to be sent by another regiment. The battalion 
held their positions with this assistance, and they were 
later congratulated by General Guignabaudit, who, com- 



138 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

manding on the French left, had watched the attack from 
Savernake Wood. 

Thiepval. — On September 26th the nth Battalion 
took part in what Sir Ivor Maxse afterwards described as 
a " distinct and memorable " episode — the capture of 
Thiepval. The whole of the 54th Brigade, of which the 
battalion formed part, was allotted only 300 yards of 
frontage, but in the area were located 144 deep German 
dug-outs, in addition to those round the Chateau Redoubt 
and the positions in the original front line along which the 
Fusiliers had to advance. This line was the western 
bastion of Thiepval, and for nearly three months the 
village had been the focus of the stern resistance on the 
left flank of the Somme operations. The effect of the 
successful action on the 25th was thought to justify a 
rapid following up. 

At 12.35 p.m., D Company, under Captain R. H. V, 
Thompson, advanced against the German positions. The 
British barrage was most intense, and the Germans, taken 
by surprise, were at first thrown into confusion. " We 
met Bosches running about, scared out of their wits, like 
a crowd of rabbits diving for their holes. Men were 
rushing about unarmed, men were holding up their hands 
and yelling for mercy, men were scuttling about every- 
where, trying to get away from that born fighter, the 
Cockney, but they had very little chance." * But this 
applies only to the first moments of the assault. D Com- 
pany was soon checked on the left, at the junction of 
Brawn Trench with the original German line. At this 
point, about 250 yards below the south-west corner of 
Thiepval village, the company was held up, and with it 
the left flank of the Middlesex ; but Thompson flung part 
of his men against the trench and led the rest against the 
strong point at the junction. He was hit in the head, but 
kept on until hit again and killed at the moment that the 
post was rushed. He was one of the best company 
commanders the battalion ever had. 

* Captain Cornaby's diary. 



ELEVENTH BATTALION AT THIEPVAL 139 

In the hand-to-hand fighting, Lieutenant R. A. Mall- 
Smith was also killed, and Lieutenant G. A. Cornaby was 
wounded. But the Fusiliers killed numbers of the enemy 
and took 25 prisoners. They then continued their 
advance along the German line, fighting their way yard 
by yard. Some relief was obtained by posting the Lewis 
guns so as to fire along the trench, but the gun team 
suffered heavily. About 200 yards west of the chateau 
another strong point was encountered, and there followed 
a protracted encounter. The attack was assisted by the 
timely appearance of a tank, which also checked the fire 
from the chateau, and so helped the Middlesex. D Com- 
pany got forward north-west of the chateau, where 
Lance-Corporal Tovey (B Company) captured a machine 
gun single-handed. Such was the position about 1 p.m. 

A Company, under Major Hudson, turned to support 
the Middlesex at the chateau, and, diverging to the right, 
made a small gap in the line. Captain Johnson promptly 
put in B Company, and attacking northwards, gave the 
last touch requisite to carry the first objective. This 
company had already lost two officers, all but three 
N.C.O.'s and half the men. Major Hudson was wounded 
in the shoulder west of the chateau, but continued fighting 
until the final line was won. He was shot through the 
thigh as he left the line and died a few days later. 

Colonel Carr went forward about 1.15 with Captain 
Cumberledge, the Adjutant, and after visiting the CO. of 
the Middlesex, went towards D Company. He was 
immediately wounded in three places, and as Cumberledge 
and Hudson were also wounded, Captain Johnson was in 
command until the evening, when Major Meyricke, the 
second in command, took over. The fighting on the 
Fusiliers' left was full of incident. Before the first objec- 
tive had been won they had cleared twenty-five dug-outs. 
Some of them contained large bodies of men provided with 
bombs, grenades and machine guns. One very deep dug- 
out was garrisoned like a fortress, and the men, armed w^th 
two machine guns, refused to come out. The Fusiliers 



140 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

had to set it on fire. Eleven Germans ran out and were 
killed, and 14 wounded were taken prisoners. Many more 
probably were burned to death. 

C Company, in command of Lieutenant A. E. Sulman, 
had gone over with the Middlesex to clear up. They had 
a vivid time and were successful in locating the German 
telephone headquarters. Sulman was given a German 
map, and quickly realised its importance. The men were 
set to look for the place. It was discovered by Lance- 
Corporal F. Rudy * with four men, who captured it, taking 
20 prisoners, cut the wires, and so severed communication 
with the German artillery. Sulman left two platoons to 
assist between the chateau and the right flank, with which 
he went forward. His company enfiladed numbers of the 
Germans who were retiring to the north in front of D Com- 
pany. While the left were advancing well to the north 
of the chateau, A Company, with two platoons of C, 
pushed to the second objective and established a position 
at the north-eastern end of the village. The Middlesex 
were now on the right, a considerable deflection from the 
original direction of advance. 

This was the position at 3 p.m. ; but the reports 
reaching headquarters were largely contradictory. Most 
of them were sent by N.C.O.'s, as the officers were out of 
action ; and, without maps, their references could not be 
expected to be more than approximate. Sulman, with 
his composite party, could not be located. By 4.30 p.m. 
the position was cleared up. D, B, and part of A Com- 
pany were still holding their position north of the chateau, 
and north-west of the mass of the village. There was a 
gap of 100 yards between this position and Sulman's 
flanking platoons, which were disposed diagonally across 
the village on a line facing north-west. Two other 
platoons of C and part of A were on the second objective 
beyond the north-east end of the village. The Fusiliers 
had not a bomb left ; they were perilously short of 
ammunition, and their numbers were dangerously weak. 

* He was awarded the D.C.M. for this serviceable achievement. 



CAPTURE OF THIEPVAL 141 

The left was still under constant attack ; sometimes as 
many as twenty German stick bombs were in the air at 
the same moment. 

Captain Johnson reported his position to Colonel 
Maxwell (Middlesex) , who was in chief command, and a 
company of Northants was sent to him to fill the gap 
between his right and left, and to reduce the strong point 
which held up the further advance of the left. The 
attack proved a failure, and at 5.45 p.m. Captain Johnson 
was ordered to dig in on his present line and connect his 
right and left. The Fusiliers, Middlesex and Northants 
were then collected and the position organised, a stranded 
tank making the nucleus of a strong advanced post. On 
the left fighting continued till n p.m., and the Fusiliers 
suffered heavy casualties, until a barrage forced the 
Germans to retire northwards. " Thiepval," wrote Lieut.- 
General C. W. Jacobs, the Commander of the Second Corps, 
' has withstood all attacks upon it for exactly two years." 
All but the north-west corner of the village had been taken 
in less than six hours. At 4 a.m. the Bedfords arrived, 
and Captain Johnson and Lieutenant Sulman were ordered 
to put them in attack formation in front of the line. This 
was done, and at dawn they carried the north-west corner 
of the village in a dashing attack. The Fusiliers then left 
the line. They had suffered very heavily, but they had 
achieved much. Captain Johnson and Lieutenant Sulman 
were each awarded the M.C. 

Private F. J. Edwards, of the Middlesex, was awarded 
the V.C. for " one of those decisive actions which deter- 
mine the success or failure of an operation. His part of 
the line was held up by a machine gun. The officers had 
all become casualties. There was confusion, and even a 
suggestion of retirement. Private Edwards grasped the 
situation at once. Alone, and on his own initiative, he 
dashed towards the gun, which he bombed until he 
succeeded in knocking it out. By this gallant act, 
performed with great presence of mind, and with complete 
disregard for his personal safety, this man made possible 



142 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the continuance of the advance and solved a dangerous 
situation." Private Edwards was transferred to the 
Royal Fusiliers on April 13th, 1918, and was taken 
prisoner eleven days later. 

* * * * 

The nth Battalion was in the line again on October 
23rd, and the plan at that time was for it to attack Petit 
Miraumont. " For this attack the assaulting battalions 
of the brigade were to have been the Fusiliers and the 
Bedfordshire Regiment. The weather was awful, and 
the mud beyond words. Fortunately, the attack did not 
come off. If it had, it must have been a colossal failure. 
The first objective was, I believe, 1,700 yards away, and 
in that mud, and after going that distance, the men 
would have been dead-beat. The brigade was to go on 
to the Ancre, cross the river, which was in flood and 
about 300 yards wide, and hold the crossings for the 
53rd Brigade to go through. It was seriously suggested 
that trees might be felled across the Ancre, and the men 
might cross on them." * The battalion went into the 
line three or four times, but each time the attack was 
postponed. It rained nearly every day. " The men 
were soaked to the skin with liquid mud for days on end, 
and after ration-carrying fatigues were dead-beat. It 
was a long carry, and the mud was appalling. . . . The 
sick rate in the battalions at this time was the worst I 
have ever known. One morning each battalion in the 
brigade had over 150 sick, and one had nearly 250." * 

Bayonet Trench. — " These conditions multiplied the 
difficulties of attack to such an extent that it was found 
impossible to exploit the situation with the rapidity 
necessary to enable us to reap the full benefits of the 
advantages we had gained." f They also explain the 
inconclusive character of much of the fighting between 
the capture of Thiepval and the Battle of the Ancre. In 
one of these attacks four Fusilier battalions fought side 

* A Fusilier officer's account. 
t Despatch. 



ATTACK ON OCTOBER 7TH 143 

by side. The Fourth Army operated along the whole 
front from Les Bceufs to Destremont Farm in support 
of the French advance on Sailly-Saillisel. The front upon 
which the Royal Fusiliers were engaged stretched, roughly, 
between the road running from High Wood to Le Barque 
and the road running north from Gueudecourt, the 26th 
and 9th Battalions being on the extreme left and right 
respectively. Before them lay a network of trenches and 
strong posts forming the outer defences of Ligny-Thilloy. 

The 8th and 9th Battalions on this occasion suffered 
very heavy losses, and did not reach their objectives. 
When the attack began at 1.45 p.m. on October 7th 
everything, from advanced headquarters, appeared to go 
well. Within half an hour reports came back that this 
was the case, but in an hour it was known that even the 
first objective, Bayonet Trench, had not been reached. 
The German positions were found to be held in great 
strength, and it was later discovered that the attack had 
coincided with a relief. The artillery and machine gun 
fire were too heavy, and the front companies were mowed 
down. The 9th alone had 15 officer casualties, and about 
250 other ranks. They mustered, on relief, 144, with 
B Company reduced to 12. The 8th had 9 officer 
casualties and 244 other ranks. Each of these battalions 
received from General Boyd Moss the following message : 
" Will you please thank all ranks of your battalion for 
the magnificent gallantry they displayed yesterday. 
They advanced steadily under a heavy fire which only 
the very best troops could have faced. Though unfortu- 
nately unsuccessful, their gallant conduct has added to 
the fine reputation which you have already won for 
yourselves." 

The 26th and 32nd Battalions, attacking at the same 
time, fared no better. Despite all gallantry, no appre- 
ciable headway was made. Each of the four battalions 
was at this time much under strength, and went into 
battle considerably less than two companies strong, 
although organised as four. From first to last the 26th 



144 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

only advanced about 300 yards ; but the position could 
not be maintained, and their casualties were 14 officers 
and 240 other ranks. Insufficient preparation and 
support, reduced strength and the terrible state of the 
ground, had proved too heavy a handicap for units who 
had each performed excellent service before. Major 
Coxhead (9th Battalion) noted the state of the roads was 
so bad that the transport took three hours and a quarter 
to traverse the five miles to Becordel. 

The 20th Battalion had a tour in the trenches north 
of Morval in the last week of October, and suffered 75 
casualties, including five officers. They then moved into 
trenches to the north of Les Bceufs, and on November 6th, 
after three attempts, established a bombing post about 
midway between that village and Le Transloy. In this 
small action they had about 100 casualties. So the month 
wore on to the 13th, when the Battle of the Ancre was 
fought. 

The Battle of the Ancre. — In this action, which in 
duration was only comparable to one of the many battles 
embraced under the general title of the Battle of the 
Somme, eight battalions of the Royal Fusiliers were 
involved, though one of them, the 4th, was in brigade 
reserve, and remained in the same position in Sackville 
Street, opposite Serre, all day, as the assaulting brigades 
did not reach their objective. The front of attack had 
a bad history, for it was here that several divisions 
attacked in vain, and suffered heavy loss, on July 1st. 
The situation on November 13th was very different. 
The gains south of the Ancre had placed the troops in a 
position to take the German positions north of the river 
in enfilade. On the other hand, " the enemy's defences 
in this area were already formidable when they resisted 
our assault on July 1st, and the succeeding period of 
four months had been spent in improving and adding to 
them in the light of the experience he had gained in the 
course of our attacks further south ; . . . the villages of 
Beaucourt-sur-Ancre and Beaumont Hamel, like the rest 



BATTLE OF THE ANCRE, NOVEMBER 13TH 145 

of the villages forming part of the enemy's original front 
in this district, were evidently intended by him to form 
a permanent line of fortification. . . . Realising that his 
position in them had become a dangerous one, the enemy 
had multiplied the number of his guns covering this part 
of the line. . . ." * 

The Germans, indeed, were confident that they had 
neutralised the disadvantages of the approach from the 
south by their new precautions, and General Ludendorff 
described the victory of the Ancre as " a particularly 
heavy blow, for we considered such an event no longer 
possible." f But it is obvious that the tip of the salient, 
created by the Somme advance, was highly vulnerable, 
and it was there that the greatest successes were won. 
The preliminary bombardment had lasted two whole days, 
with bursts of great intensity, and at 5.45 a.m. on Novem- 
ber 13th it developed into a very effective barrage. 

On the northern flank of the attack, as we have seen, 
the 4th Battalion remained undisturbed the whole day, 
so little had the attack succeeded on that sector. The 
wire was insufficiently cut and the ground too sodden. 
Four other Fusilier battalions belonged to the 2nd Division, 
which lay north of Beaumont Hamel, between the 3rd and 
51st Divisions. The 24th Battalion alone took part in 
the initial advance. As the left battalion of the 5th 
Brigade their flank was influenced by the failure further 
north. At 5.15 a.m. the attacking companies left the 
trenches in a dense fog, reformed in No Man's Land, and 
moved forward with the general advance at 5.45 a.m. 
The barrage was followed closely, the men being within 
20 yards of it over the whole battalion front. Some 
shells, indeed, fell short and caused casualties, but the 
men followed coolly at a walking pace into the German 
front line trenches, and a numerous dug-out popula- 
tion emerged to surrender. The troops went on, and at 
6.15 had taken the major part of their objective, the Green 

* Despatch. 

f " My War Memories," Vol. I p 290. 



146 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

line — the German third line system. C and D Companies 
were cleaning up the trenches. It was early realised that 
the assault on the left flank had been unsuccessful, and all 
trenches leading north were blocked. This advance, though 
not spectacular, was useful in the general scheme of things ; 
and it had not been achieved without considerable losses. 
On the 14th the battalion's positions were taken over by 
the supporting battalion, the 2nd Oxford and Bucks. 

On the left of the 24th the 2nd Highland Infantry had 
advanced, and the 17th Royal Fusiliers, as the supporting 
battalion, had passed through, and with the 2nd Oxford 
and Bucks had attempted to advance from the German 
third line to Munich Trench and Frankfort Trench. At 
10 a.m. the third German line was strongly held, and four 
companies of the 17th Battalion, now reduced to a total 
strength of 180, were well to the east. They had met with 
a heavy enfilade fire owing to the units on the left of the 
5th Brigade being held up. Some parties of the Fusiliers 
with the Oxfords and Bucks had penetrated into Munich 
Trench, but could not maintain themselves. After 
10.30 a.m. the front line was reorganised with the battalion 
holding Crater Lane Trench, a line that was apparently 
further east than any other north of the Ancre held by our 
troops.* Later in the day the line of Wagon Road was 
also held. At 4.30 p.m. the Germans counter-attacked 
the advanced positions and attempted to work across the 
battalion's front towards Beaumont-Hamel, lying to the 
south-west. Artillery support was called for and the 
attack was not pressed. The 17th lost 187 in their advance, 
including Lieutenant E. P. Hallowes, Second Lieutenants 
K. W. Hamilton, G. C. Levon, C. W. Taylor, R. Davison, 
R. Pearce and H. J. Riches wounded. Munich Trench, 
reached but not held by the battalion, was attacked by 
other troops f on the 14th and by another division on the 
15th, but without success. 

* There was, of course, a small party outside Beaucourt, still farther 
east. 

t The 1st Royal Rifles and the 1st Berks, with the 23rd Royal 
Fusiliers in support. 



BATTLE OF THE ANCRE, NOVEMBER 13TH 147 

The 22nd and 23rd Battalions, belonging to the 99th 
Brigade, who were in reserve, found themselves committed 
to the support of the unsuccessful left flank of the Ancre 
attack. The 22nd went up to form a defensive flank to 
the 5th Brigade, but such were the difficulties that this 
object was not achieved until 9 a.m. on November 14th. 
But when the line was once taken up it was firmly held, 
despite a persistent and very accurate shell fire throughout 
the day. It was nervous and wasting work, but the 
battalion bore it so well that, on the 15th, they were able 
to leap forward and seize the Quadrilateral. They were 
reinforced by the 4th Battalion, who crossed the open and 
shell-swept ground with only 8 casualties. The position 
was consolidated and held till 7 a.m. on the 16th, when 
the battalion was relieved. 

At 10 a.m. on the morning of the 13th A and C Com- 
panies of the 23rd Battalion had been placed under the 
orders of the G.O.C. 5th Brigade, and about 5 p.m. they 
were sent to support the 2nd Highland Light Infantry in 
the third German line. They were then in the rear of the 
17th Battalion and on the right of the 24th. B and D 
Companies had been lent to the 6th Brigade, and at 7 p.m. 
they succeeded in canying the front forward to the second 
German line. The whole battalion supported the unsuc- 
cessful attack on Munich Trench by the 1st Royal Rifles 
and 1st Berks, on the 14th. The 2nd Division's advance, 
considerable on the right and gradually lessening on the 
left, owed not a little to these four Fusilier battalions. 

Another Fusilier battalion which took part in the battle 
of the Ancre on November 13th was the 7th. This unit 
formed part of the 190th Brigade of the 63rd (Naval) 
Division, which was engaged immediately north of the 
river. At 5.45 a.m. C and D Companies advanced with 
the H.A.C. on their right. On their left was the redoubt 
which, for the whole of the day, made a deep salient in the 
British position. Both of the leading companies met with 
heavy rifle and machine gun fire. The first two waves of 
C were held up by the remains of the German wire, and 

L 2 



148 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

after losing heavily returned to the starting point. There, 

in our front line, were the second two waves and about 

60 men from other battalions. It was so foggy that no 

one could see what was actually happening, and Captains 

Foster and Clarke decided to make another advance with 

all the men in the trench. The men came again under 

heavy fire, and all the platoon commanders — Second 

Lieutenant W. Ford, Second Lieutenant St. Aubyn, 

Second Lieutenant Bouchier and Sergeant Cookson — 

became casualties. Nevertheless, the German front line 

was rushed in five minutes. In it were found 20 German 

dead, and one officer and 50 men surrendered. A machine 

gun was also captured. The trench line was consolidated 

and blocked against the German strong point, and the 

company remained there until ordered to proceed to the 

Green line. Sergeant Bright with three Lewis guns and 

13 men was left to hold up the German strong point. The 

Green line was reached with little loss except from snipers 

and was held till about 9 p.m., when, on relief by the H.A.C., 

they went back to the German front line. D Company, 

in the meantime, had made three attempts to advance, the 

last with the elements of several other battalions, and had 

failed to make headway against the German rifle and 

machine gun fire. At the end of the third attack the 

company was reduced to 50, and Captain Rattigan decided 

to hold on where he was in front of the German wire. They 

remained in this position for four and a half hours- 

During this time Captain Rattigan was killed, and Second 

Lieutenant Downing, finding a mine shaft leading back, 

went down it, reported to battalion headquarters and was 

ordered to bring the remains of the company back to the 

British front line. 

Sergeant Bright held up the German strong point all 
day. He was not a little assisted by the supply of German 
bombs found in the trench, and by Private Hawkesley, 
who daringly lay out along the parapet with a Lewis gun. 
Captain Goddard, of B Company, took over this post at 
3 p.m., and the captured trench was organised. The 



BATTLE OF THE ANCRE, NOVEMBER 14TH 149 

battalion was reorganised about 2 a.m. on November 14th, 
and at 6 a.m. the Fusiliers attacked once more. It was 
at this point that the 7th Battalion came into contact 
with the 13th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, who attacked 
between the 13th Rifle Brigade and the 13th King's Royal 
Rifle Corps. The 13th moved off a little too eagerly and 
suffered some casualties from our own barrage. They 
withdrew 50 yards and then resumed the advance under 
a harassing machine gun fire from Beaucourt village. 
A strong point on the left flank resisted with great deter- 
mination, and the 13th Rifle Brigade were to the rear of 
the 13th Royal Fusiliers when the first objective was 
taken. Meanwhile, Captain Goddard, with the 7th, had 
amalgamated the battalion's two waves, and after one 
and a half hours' shelling of the final objective, advanced 
and took it without much opposition. He had turned 
to the right and with elements of the 13th Battalion, the 
13th K.R.R.C, and the H.A.C., consolidated the right 
flank on the bank of the Ancre, south-east of Beaucourt, 
which had fallen a little earlier to the charge of Freyberg's 
force. 

Up to this point the position on the left of the 13th 
Battalion still caused trouble. Most of the casualties 
suffered by the 7th in their advance to the final objective 
had come from this quarter, and the 13th remained on 
the first line captured. But the 10th Battalion, who, like 
the 13th, belonged to the inth Brigade, had had the 
pleasant experience of co-operating with a tank in the 
reduction of the German redoubt which had held up the 
centre of the 63rd Division. The mere appearance of the 
tank seems to have been sufficient, and without firing a 
shot the 10th Battalion took 270 German prisoners,* and 
three machine guns. They also liberated 60 British 
prisoners who had been well treated, but were naturally 
glad to get back to their own army. The 7th Battalion 
passed from this area and the 13th did not figure again in 
the battle. The former had attacked 22 officers and 

* Eight hundred prisoners in all were taken from this redoubt. 



150 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

629 other ranks strong. They lost 13 officers and 331 
other ranks, more than half the total strength. The 
casualties of the 13th were 8 officers (including Lieut. - 
Colonel Ardagh, wounded) and 130 other ranks. But the 
victory was complete. It was a great blow to German 
prestige, and it made an important improvement in the 
British positions. 

* * * * 

There were still some local operations in this area before 
the battle died down and a final line could be organised 
for winter. The 10th Battalion took a prominent part 
in these attempts to round off the gains of the first three 
days. Part of the final line still remained in German 
hands. The 13th Battalion, on the morning of the 14th, 
had been held up by opposition on its left, and patrols 
sent out failed even to locate the objective. Muck Trench, 
as it was called, continued to lure the 111th Brigade, and 
the 10th Battalion attacked at dawn on November 16th 
with the object of capturing it. They were beaten back 
by intense machine gun fire. In the afternoon two 
bombing parties attempted to get forward and actually 
reached the trench, but they were promptly attacked by 
superior forces and compelled to retire. Lieutenant R. 
Stephenson was killed on this occasion. The German 
barrage prevented a third attempt, but Second Lieutenant 
Ground succeeded in establishing two posts in the trench 
on the left before dusk, and two others were established 
during the night by Second Lieutenant Bainb ridge. 
These posts were reinforced and organised. But during 
the night of the 17th the machine gun team in the trench 
was shelled and almost wiped out. At 6.10 a.m. on the 
18th the battalion attacked on the right of the 32nd 
Division and stormed all its objectives but one. Unfortu- 
nately these gains had to be abandoned owing to the 
failure of the right of the 32nd Division. On November 
19th the 10th delivered yet another attack. Two patrols, 
under Second Lieutenants Bainbridge and Hey wood, 
respectively, reached the objective, but were compelled 



END OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME 151 

to withdraw. During the night the battalion was relieved 
after an extraordinary exhibition of tenacity of purpose. 
The most important and most spectacular achievement 
of the Fusiliers in the battle of the Ancre was the capture 
of the redoubt which had almost brought the advance to 
a standstill. But it was the least difficult task, and the 
10th, who accomplished it, did more distinguished service 
in the following days, though their repeated attacks merely 
served to secure a few points of tactical importance. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE GERMAN RETREAT AND THE BATTLE OF ARRAS 

The Battle of the Somme, which had formed a more 
critical episode for the Germans than was at the time 
appreciated, had obviously gravely weakened them, and 
Sir Douglas Haig felt that it was desirable to allow them 
no respite during the winter. There was consequently 
little rest either in the Somme area or beyond it. The 
mere routine of trench occupation at this period involved 
much more than mere alertness. The movements and 
disposition of troops were carefully watched by means 
of repeated raids. One of these may be mentioned for a 
singular coolness that marked its execution. 

The 26th Battalion were in the line towards the north 
of the Wytschaete Ridge. On December 15th, 1916, 
Lieutenant C. R. W. Jenkins took a patrol to the German 
front line trench in order to secure identifications. Leav- 
ing a corporal on the parapet, he went into the trench 
alone, and, meeting two German sentries, promptly shot 
one ; but the other ran back and gave the alarm. Jenkins, 
seeing how things were shaping, jumped out of the trench, 
but, after waiting a few minutes, returned and took the 
desired identifications from the body of the sentry he 
had shot. For this act of coolness and courage he was 
awarded the M.C. But the night was not yet over. 
About 11.30 a party of Germans raided the battalion's 
front line, and a number of men who were out attending 
to the wire were caught in the barrage. The Germans 
got into the front line, and there Private H. Jones, though 
isolated, continued to handle his machine gun to such 
effect that the raiding party were beaten off. He was 
awarded the D.C.M., and Lieutenant M. B. Maude won 



WINTER RAIDS 153 

the M.C. for his persistent courage in helping to bring 
back the men who had been caught in the German barrage. 
The mud dragged his boots off, and his feet were badly 
torn by the wire, but he continued to help until the work 
was done. 

There were many similar incidents on other parts of 
the front. Just north of Loos a more elaborate raid was 
carried out in broad daylight on January 26th by the 12th 
Battalion, in conjunction with the 8th Buffs. Of the 
Fusiliers 4 officers and 100 other ranks were engaged. The 
German front and support lines were reached, machine 
gun emplacements were destroyed, dug-outs were bombed, 
many Germans were killed and 16 were taken prisoner. 
The German barrage on No Man's Land and the Fusiliers' 
front and communicating trenches was accurately placed- 
All the officers were wounded. Lieutenant Murless died 
on February 8th, and Second Lieutenant A. E. Hughes 
was severely hurt. There were 24 other ranks casualties. 
The British communique of February 1st included * the 
12th Battalion among those who had specially distin- 
guished themselves during January ; and they were also 
warmly congratulated by the Army Commander. 

Many, too, were the deaths which had no obvious 
savour of heroism about them. Such was the death of 
Captain R. L. Roscoe, M.C, who was mortally wounded 
on February 3rd during his sleep in the company head- 
quarter's post (Courcelette Sector). He was only nine- 
teen years of age and one of the 22nd Battalion's most 
efficient officers. Two days later the 22nd Battalion 
carried out with the Berks a successful bombing raid. 
The men wore white overalls, and guns and hats were 
whitened. The ground was covered with snow, and the 
raiders brought back 57 Germans at a very light cost. 

A more important series of incidents from the point of 
view of the German retreat was that which began with a 
raid by A Company of the nth Battalion on the night 
of February 10th. Second Lieutenants B. G. Sampson 

* Only eighteen battalions were thus mentioned. 



154 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

and B. P. Webster led the platoons in an attack on a 
German strong point between Miraumont Road and 
Sixteen Road. The position was captured, but the Ger- 
mans concentrated a very heavy machine gun and gre- 
nade fire on the garrison. Both officers and the N.C.O.'s 
became casualties, and the Germans recovered the 
position in a violent counter-attack. The few remaining 
men were compelled to retire. The battalion was relieved, 
but after a few days out of the line moved up once more 
for the first concerted action of the year 1917. The 
object of this attack was to carry our line forward along 
the spur which runs northward from the main Morval- 
Thiepval Ridge about Courcelette, and so gain possession 
of the high ground on its northern extremity. This 
would give us the command of the approaches to Pys 
and Miraumont from the south, and observation over the 
upper valley of the Ancre and its concealed batteries. 
While immediately regarding Pys and Miraumont, the 
operations were also designed to weaken the defences of 
Serre, which these batteries supported. 

Boom Ravine. — The three divisions engaged all con- 
tained battalions of Royal Fusiliers ; but the 7th Batta- 
lion, in the 63rd Division, was not called upon. On the 
right of the 63rd Division, and south of the Ancre, lay the 
18th Division, with the 2nd Division on its right. The 
nth Battalion (18th Division) was the left assaulting 
battalion of the 54th Brigade, and their role was to advance 
from in front of Desire Trench to South Miraumont Trench, 
crossing Grandcourt Trench and the deep sunken road 
called Boom Ravine — a name which the Fusiliers and the 
brigade always associate with the action. A thaw had 
just set in. The night was dark and misty. In fine, all 
the conditions were against the attack ; but the wire was 
cut, and forming-up lines taped in the forming-up place, 
the Gully, during the night. The assembling place was 
very crowded at 4.45 a.m. on February 17th, and, unfor- 
tunately, the Germans had discovered the plan in detail. 
A heavy barrage was opened upon the Gully just before 



BOOM RAVINE, FEBRUARY 17U1, 1917 155 

zero and the Fusiliers suffered very heavily. It was rain- 
ing, pitch dark, the Gully was slippery with mud and 
packed with troops. Such an ordeal, gallantly over- 
come, speaks volumes for the spirit and discipline of the 
troops ; for the Fusiliers leapt forward at zero as though 
no hour of horror had preceded it. 

At zero only Captain Morton and Captain Colles Sandes, 
of the officers of A and B Companies respectively re- 
mained un wounded. At 5.45 came the barrage and the 
men followed closely ; but little progress had been made 
before these two officers joined the others, Captain Morton 
with a serious foot wound and Captain Colles Sandes with 
a wound in the neck. The two leading companies were 
now without officers ; and the men continued their 
advance over the shell-pitted slippery front in the dark- 
ness and rain. Some delay occurred at Grandcourt 
Trench, where the wire was not sufficiently cut, though it 
was less uncut than in front of the battalion on the Fusi- 
liers' right. The men pressed ahead and reached the 40-f eet 
deep cleft called Boom Ravine. There was now not an officer 
in the four companies who had not become a casualty. 
The battalion was held together by the sergeants. C.S.M. 
Fitterer (B), although wounded in the thigh, reorganised 
the companies and directed the advance ; and Sergeants 
Choate, Berry and Hazell, of A, C and D Companies 
respectively, ably assisted him. 

It was hardly light till 6.5 a.m., but by 6.30 Fitterer 
had got the Fusiliers to resume their advance from the 
Ravine, where they had taken over 100 prisoners. The 
Middlesex were left in the Ravine to mop up. But already 
there had been a serious delay and the barrage had got 
too far ahead. As a consequence, the Germans were 
ready in South Miraumont Trench ; and the weak force, 
facing uncut wire in a heavily manned trench, could only 
take refuge in the muddy shell-holes. At about 8.30 a.m. 
a German counter-attack compelled the men to retire, and 
it was while steadying the withdrawal that Lieut. -Colonel 
R. J. F. Meyricke, who had only left the nth Battalion a 



156 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

fortnight before to command the Northants, was killed. 
For some time Second Lieutenant G. S. Pearcy, the 
signalling officer of the battalion, rallied the Fusiliers 
during this part of the battle until Lieut. -Colonel C. C. 
Carr, D.S.O., and Captain Cumberledge, D.S.O., the 
Adjutant, took control and the line was halted. The 
remains of the assaulting battalions, with two companies 
of the Middlesex, went forward once more in the after- 
noon and recovered some of the lost ground. This battle 
was one of the most tragic episodes in the battalion's his- 
tory. Of the officers 2 were killed, 1 died of wounds, and 
11 were wounded ; of other ranks 36 were killed, 162 
wounded and 69 missing. But, on the whole, it was not 
an exorbitant price to pay for an advance which carried 
the troops so near the defences of Petit Miraumont. 

The 22nd and 23rd Battalions (99th Brigade, 2nd Divi- 
sion) were also engaged on the same day. The 22nd 
assembled in battle position between East and West 
Miraumount roads and began the assault with A and B 
Companies, D forming a defensive flank from the old 
British line to the final objective. In so doing, the com- 
pany advanced along the east side of East Miraumont 
road and came under a heavy fire from machine guns on 
the right. For a moment it looked as though the attack 
would fail utterly because of this check ; but Sergeant 
Palmer cut his way through a stretch of wire under 
a heavy and sustained machine-gun fire, and rushed the 
trench running up to the north-east, on the company's 
right. He established a block at a point where the trench 
turned eastward and thus covered the right flank of his 
battalion's advance. With a handful of men he held the 
position for three hours, during which the Germans deli- 
vered seven heavy attacks. When the supply of bombs 
gave out he went back to headquarters for more, and 
while he was away the post he had won and so skilfully 
defended was driven in. He was badly shaken by a bomb 
explosion ; but he collected a few men, drove back the 
Germans and restored the essential flank-guard. He was 




K S 2 



H O ni • 

H S .2 -- 
en 



C 

. o 



K 






£ 7. 




■— S. 

v. - 

< ± 

Z J 



5 »< 



* £ 2 



z^ ~ 



ID 









Z^ 



be 



THE GERMAN RETREAT, FEBRUARY, 1917 157 

granted a well-deserved V.C. for this act of courage and 
skill. 

Meanwhile A and C Companies found the wire uncut in 
front of them. One platoon west of West Miraumont 
Road was surrounded and captured. But the troops had 
reached the road south of South Miraumont Trench when 
an outflanking movement from the right caused them to 
fall back to the first objective, which was consolidated 
with elements of the 1st King's Royal Rifles and the 23rd 
Royal Fusiliers. This engagement was marked by 
numerous acts of gallantry. The Lewis gun section, who 
bore the brunt of the German counter-attack from South 
Miraumont Trench and brought back eight of its fourteen 
guns, though three-quarters of the team had been killed 
or wounded, deserves mention ; and the fine work of D 
Company had its influence on the action to the end. Well 
posted in an advanced position, it prevented the Germans 
debauching on East Miraumont Road. But the battalion 
lost very heavily. At noon only three officers remained. 
Major Walsh, who had joined the battalion in February, 

1 91 5, and had had command of a company since March, 

1916, was mortally wounded. A natural leader of men, 
he was a great loss to the battalion. The 23rd Battalion, 
who co-operated on the right and carried their objectives, 
were also severely hit, losing 13 officers and 227 other 
ranks. The battalion held their final position during the 
following day until relieved. 

Retreat. — It was only a week after these actions that 
the enemy was found to be evacuating his positions. The 
17th Battalion, in the Courcelette Sector, on making this 
discovery, advanced their front line to new positions. The 
7th Battalion patrols had found evidence of the enemy's 
withdrawal north of the Ancre the day before, February 
24th. Strong battle patrols were therefore pushed for- 
ward in co-operation with the neighbouring units. After 
a thorough reconnaissance the battalion advanced early 
in the morning of the 25th in artillery formation. The 
eastern edge of Miraumont was reached without opposi- 



153 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

tion, and an outpost line was established and a further 
reconnaissance was made by scouts. The advance was 
later continued under a weak artillery fire. The battalion 
had advanced nearly two miles when, on the night of 
February 25th, they were relieved. 

Three days later this process of testing the German 
grip on various positions was extended southwards. 
The 2nd Battalion, whose march discipline while making 
a move had been recently pronounced by the G.O.C. 
29th Division " fit for an inspection parade," delivered a 
successful attack in the Combles area. The advance was 
finally held up by a shortage of bombs, and the battalion 
had to fall back under pressure of a heavy counter-attack. 

By the end of February the enemy had been driven back 
to the Transloy-Loupart line, with the exception of the 
village of Irles, which formed a salient in their position. 
The 2nd and 18th Divisions were ordered to attack the 
village, in preparation for a larger operation against the 
whole of the Switch Line. The 22nd Battalion assisted 
in this engagement by supplying carrying parties, a 
covering company and several Lewis guns. The 23rd 
gave more active assistance, taking the feature known as 
Lady's Leg Ravine. They killed 20 of the enemy, 
captured 30 and also a machine gun. The casualties 
were slight, hardly more than the number of prisoners 
captured ; and this was the case over the whole of the 
battle front. Not long after this the general withdrawal 
took place, and the Germans fell back to the Hindenburg 
Line. 

Arras. — Part of Sir Douglas Haig's pre-arranged plan 
was not disturbed by this retirement of the Germans. 
As far south as the Arras- Cambrai road, the position was 
completely unchanged, and it was north of Arras that the 
Canadians and seven of the British divisions were to 
deliver their blow. The weather broke in April ; it was 
cold, and on the 2nd it began to snow. At the end of 
that day the snow lay an inch deep in Arras. Numerous 
troops had been moved up to this part of the line and 



THE BATTLE OF ARRAS, APRIL qth 159 

found easy accommodation in the cellars. They were 
dark and damp, but stoves made them a little more 
comfortable. Some of the cellars were very deep, and 
these accommodated battalion headquarters. To some 
of the Fusiliers this cellar life proved an amusing episode, 
and it was not sufficiently prolonged to become irksome. 
Zero was at 5.30 a.m. on Easter Monday. Wire-cutting 
had begun nearly three weeks before, and on April 4th 
the preliminary bombardment started. On the 8th, a 
fine cold day, the shelling seemed to die down ; but in 
the dark of the Monday morning it began with extra- 
ordinary intensity, and the troops moved forward. 
Strange but very welcome rumours were heard by those 
Fusiliers left behind in Arras, and the troops of cavalry 
trotting by seemed to give point to them. 

On the Arras battle front there were a number of 
Fusilier battalions waiting to take their part in the 
struggle. Farthest north were the 8th and 9th Battalions 
(12th Division), just above the Arras-Cambrai road. 
Behind this division was the 37th with the 10th and 13th 
Battalions. Below the Arras-Cambrai road lay the 3rd 
Division with the 4th Royal Fusiliers ; and farther 
south, before Neuville-Vitasse, was the 56th Division 
with four battalions of the London Regiment R.F. 
(Territorials) . 

The 8th and 9th Battalions reached their objectives, 
and with small loss took a considerable number of 
prisoners. The 8th was the left support battalion of the 
brigade, and the men moved off so rapidly after the 
barrage that in many cases they became merged in the 
assaulting battalion, the 7th Royal Sussex. The front 
German line was reached without a single casualty. 
The attack went exactly according to programme.* The 
enemy put up a resistance at two strong points, but they 

* Message from Brig. -General C. S. Owen : " Please convey my very 
best congratulations to all ranks who took part in the attack to-day. 
They did magnificent work. They went forward and carried out their 
job as if they had been on the practice trenches. . . ." 



160 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

were outflanked, and at 10 a.m. the whole objective was 
taken with two machine guns and 129 prisoners. The 
total casualty list was 175 killed, wounded and missing 
(only 7 of these last). On the right, the 9th Battalion also 
gained all objectives and captured two machine guns and 
220 prisoners. C Company captured 150 of these in one 
dug-out. But the dug-outs were unhealthy places. One 
of them, in the nth Middlesex area, was suddenly blown 
up by the explosion of a mine ; and as a consequence 
German dug-outs were afterwards forbidden. These 
positions, the " Blue Line," were at once consolidated. 

The 4th Battalion, south of the Arras-Cambrai road, 
moved off with the 9th Brigade after the 76th had taken 
the first objective. Advancing at 7 a.m. the battalion 
came under heavy shell fire as they moved across the 
open ; but they kept on until they had covered about a 
mile, the men keeping their ranks and formation in spite 
of casualties. In their path lay the highly organised 
defensive system below Tilloy called the Harp, and in 
conjunction with other battalions the 4th Royal Fusiliers 
swept across it. Such a position in the Battle of the 
Somme frequently remained a stumbling block for days 
and weeks. W Company, leading on the right, suffered 
very heavily from rifle and machine gun fire, and also 
partly from our own barrage. All the officers were 
wounded, Captain Furnie severely, and the command 
devolved on Second Lieutenant the Earl of Shannon, who, 
though wounded, led the company from Nomeny Trench 
and was the first man to enter String Trench. Before 
this trench, with its wire only partially cut, many losses 
were sustained. A portion of the company carried on 
with the 9th Rifle Brigade to Neuilly Trench. Z Company 
were caught by the fire from the north-east corner of 
Tilloy village, but, with the help of two platoons of X, 
assisted in the capture of Lynx and String Trenches. 
Captain A. E. Millson (CO., X Company) was mortally 
wounded as he entered the latter trench. X and Y 
Companies supported the two assaulting companies 



NEUVILLE-VITASSE, APRIL qth 161 

mopped up Nomeny Trench and carried the battalion 
forward to the final objective. The battalion gained 
little support from the tanks, although one sat down upon 
Nomeny Trench after they had carried it. Among the 
captures of the day were 5 officers and 70 other ranks, 
three machine guns, two minenwerfer and four granaten- 
werfer. But the battalion lost 225 officers and men. 
Besides Captain Millson, Second Lieutenant Paddock 
died of wounds, and seven other officers were wounded, 
Captain Furnie and Second Lieutenant K. C. Marlowe 
severely. 

The Territorial battalions had more obvious objectives, 
and carried out their task well. The 3rd Londons lay 
before Neuville-Vitasse, and with the 8th Middlesex early 
got a hold on the village, and pushed on until at 10.30 
the whole of it was in their hands. On this the 1st 
Londons went ahead against the Cojeul Switch Line. 
For a short time they were held up at a belt of uncut wire, 
where they lost very heavily. Colonel Smith, with most 
of his officers, became a casualty ; but, reinforced by the 
7th Middlesex, the battalion held on until the line was 
captured. The 2nd Londons entered the battle during 
the night, and, by an advance to the trench junction at 
Rum Jar Corner, and thence to the high ground sur- 
mounted by Wancourt Tower, secured the flank. 

Monchy le Preux. — Meanwhile the 37th Division had 
moved up. The 13th Battalion reached Blangy at ir.30 
a.m. without casualties, and at 1.10 p.m. orders came to 
move forward and take up positions in Battery Valley, 
along the line of Fred's Wood, which lies about 200 yards 
north of the railway, and east of Blangy. At about 6.45 
p.m. the battalion moved to the point from which they 
were to begin the attack on Monchy le Preux, a village 
standing on a small hill about 90 feet above the surround- 
ing country. Up to the " Blue Line," which had been 
taken and consolidated early in the day, there was no 
shell fire ; but on crossing it the Fusiliers soon saw that 
the next line had not been taken in their immediate front 

F. M 



162 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

and there was no alternative but to attack it preparatory 
to the final advance. With the ioth Royal Fusiliers on 
the right, the troops advanced steadily for about 2,000 
yards and were at length brought to a halt just east of the 
Feuchy-Feuchy Chapel road. Their left was in the air, 
and the 13th Battalion had to form a defensive flank there. 
In this position they dug in at nightfall. Shortly before 
dawn they were withdrawn to near Broken Mill and 
another brigade took over the positions. The ioth Batta- 
lion had fallen back to Feuchy Chapel at 4 a.m., and then 
later to the "Brown Line," farther back. 

About noon on April ioth the Royal Fusiliers moved 
forward once more. The 13th Battalion crossed the 
northern end of Orange Hill and then swung half-left 
towards the outlying woods west of Monchy. The ioth 
Battalion on the right were in touch, and both units con- 
tinued to advance under a heavy barrage until the ioth 
were only 600 yards west of Monchy. The losses of both 
battalions had been very heavy. At 7.40 p.m. only three 
officers besides the CO. and the adjutant remained with 
the 13th Battalion, and a provisional line of trenches had 
to be dug west of the village, after consultation with the 
Royal Engineers. This line was completed by about 
4 a.m. on April nth. About an hour and a half later the 
ioth and 13th Battalions made a last spurt forward and 
the 13th established themselves north of the village, about 
a hundred yards west of Hamers Lane ; and this position 
they held throughout the day. The ioth Battalion, now 
commanded by Major A. Smith, stormed the village itself 
and occupied it under a heavy barrage. The west side 
was entrenched and a small advanced post was established 
on the east of the village. The cavalry entered the 
village about n a.m. and were heavily shelled. 

The Royal Fusiliers held these positions until relieved 
at 11 p.m. that night. It was a memorable day. At one 
time there was a blinding snowstorm ; but the troops 
ignored such small inconveniences, and, though the Arras 
front changed considerably in the subsequent operations, 



CAPTURE OF MONCHY, APRIL iith 163 

the positions at this point were little changed. In Decem- 
ber the line was not 1,000 yards farther east than that 
achieved on April nth by the Fusiliers. When Lieut.- 
General Sir R. C. B. Haking, G.O.C. XI. Corps, inspected 
the 10th Battalion on January 5th, he said it was the best- 
turned-out unit he had seen for twelve months. Their 
achievement at Monchy le Preux must place them in the 
front rank for courage, tenacity and skill. Their losses 
were twelve officers (including Lieut.-Colonel Rice, 
wounded) and 240 other ranks. The 13th Battalion had 
also suffered very heavily, and Colonel Layton's words, in 
reporting the detail of the action, " I consider that the 
battalion behaved magnificently, and I have nothing but 
praise for every one in it," were well merited. 

Other divisions were now appearing in this area bringing 
with them Fusilier battalions. On April nth the 2nd 
Division moved up to the left of the Canadians and the 
24th Battalion entered the forward trenches in the Farbus 
line. On the following day the 20th Battalion took over 
the trenches won that day about 1,000 yards west of 
Heninel. On the 13th it was discovered that the batta- 
lion on the left of the 24th Royal Fusiliers had found the 
railway line unoccupied and it was decided to advance at 
once. Under heavy artillery fire the Fusiliers reached the 
railway line and then a line from the eastern edge of 
Willerval to Bailleul. This line covered the sugar factory 
in the orchard of which a German naval 6-inch gun was 
captured. This line was consolidated for the night. On 
their left the 23rd Battalion, who on the nth had relieved 
the 1/5 Gordons west of Bailleul, advanced with the 24th 
to the railway, and, pushing farther on, occupied Bailleul. 
A line was established on the east of the village and patrols 
were sent forward towards Oppy. A platoon of C Com- 
pany, misinterpreting orders, went out to attempt the 
capture of Oppy, and was itself captured, after a spirited 
fight before the village. The 23rd captured four guns in 
this advance. But they lost heavily, for, in addition to 

the platoon cut off at Oppy, Captain Lissmann, the 

11 a 



164 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

adjutant, was killed by a shell as he walked with the CO. 
towards the railway. They were relieved on the following 
day. But the 24th continued their advance at 3 p.m. 
on April 14th, and, despite a heavy artillery and machine- 
gun fire, succeeded in getting to within about 500 yards of 
the Arleux en Gohelle-Oppy line. This was a formidable 
sector of the German front, and the 24th had to lie facing 
it with both flanks refused, since the units on neither side 
had advanced. 

Guemappe. — It was on April 13th, also, that the 4th 
Battalion were sent forward against Guemappe. Monchy 
lay in an uneasy salient, and its importance suggested that 
the sooner it was finally secured the better, if there were 
any expectations of further advance or even if the position 
was to be held easily. The attack was launched hurriedly 
and was unsuccessful. The order (cancelling a previous 
order and) directing the attack to take place that evening 
was only received at 5.55 p.m. and zero was to be at 6.20 
p.m. The battalion were formed up about ten minutes 
before the barrage lifted and they advanced very steadily 
although they encountered three German barrages. When 
they approached the spur lying about 750 yards north- 
west of Guemappe they came under a very sustained rifle 
and machine-gun fire from both flanks, but particularly 
from the direction of Wancourt. They continued to 
advance and crossed the spur. But by this time most of 
the officers who had gone into action had been wounded. 
Captain Gibson, in charge of the right leading company, 
was severely wounded ; Second Lieutenant the Earl of 
Shannon, commanding the right support company, was 
killed ; Second Lieutenant B. C. Martin was killed ; 
Second Lieutenant C. A. Brasher and Captain K. J. 
Barrett were both wounded. Still the battalion advanced 
and the sunken road was reached. They had pushed for- 
ward nearly 3,000 yards, an apparently irresistible 
advance in defiance of all the enemy could do. 

But now Captain Barrett, who had continued in com- 
mand though wounded, was again severely wounded, and 



ADVANCE TO THE SOUCHEZ, APRIL 14TH 165 

was carried out of action. Before leaving, however, he 
gave instructions in writing. It was now 8 p.m. 
Lieutenant Hiddingh and Second Lieutenants Thoday and 
Burr were the only officers left. The King's Liverpools, 
who had started off fifteen minutes before the 4th Royal 
Fusiliers, had not been seen since. The 12th West Yorks 
whom it was intended to support were not seen at all. 
The Royal Fusiliers had passed through some of the 
1st Northumberland Fusiliers during the advance, and 
this unit's right was found to be on the cross-roads north- 
west of Guemappe, and practically in line with the 4th 
Battalion, halted on the sunken road facing the village 
about 500 yards away. This advance, launched almost 
at a moment's notice, without any time for preliminary 
reconnaissance, was a very wonderful performance. Success 
could have added but little to it. The battalion were 
ordered to withdraw at 1 a.m. on April 14th ; and the 
movement was carried out steadily and skilfully. Of the 
12 officers who went into action, five became casualties, 
and there were 86 other ranks casualties. 

It was on the same day, April 13th, that the 12th Bat- 
talion made a striking advance near the extreme left flank 
of the Arras battle. About 9-30 a.m., the Germans were 
observed to be shelling their own third line. Maj or Neynoc 
and Lieut. -Colonel Mobbs (7th Northants) thereupon went 
forward to the 3rd line positions north-east of Souchez. 
The trenches were found to be almost smashed out of 
recognition by our fire, and unoccupied. At midnight 
Nos. 3 and 4 Companies, in close support under Neynoc, 
relieved the units in the front line, and at 8 a.m. on the 
14th patrols were pushed ahead. On a report that all 
was clear, No. 3 Company proceeded through Calvary 
Trench and No. 4 Company, under cover in the Bois de 
Rollencourt, advanced and occupied the sunken road up 
to the mill in the outskirts of Lieven. At 2 p.m. the 
companies went through Lieven and occupied the line of 
the Souchez River. The latter part of this advance was 
over open country, under the observation of low-flying 



166 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

aeroplanes which directed a heavy fire. At night the left 
of the battalion were in contact with the 17th Brigade at 
the north corner of the Bois de Riamont and their right 
with the 5th Division at the bridge on the Souchez river 
in Cite de l'Abattoir. This flank was slightly drawn 
back. Two fighting patrols under Second Lieutenants 
A. H. Lee and Deakin were pushed forward on the 15th 
into the Cite - de Riamont, but they were later ordered to 
withdraw, as it was not intended seriously to engage the 
enemy in this quarter. But this very decisive and 
skilful exploitation of a chance discovery won warm praise 
from the divisional commander, who told the commanding 
officer that he had a battalion he might be proud of. 

Oppy. — On April 16th another attempt was made to 
test the strength of the Oppy line. A daylight raid was 
ordered to be made by the 17th Battalion, and Lieutenant 
Brodie and three men moved out at 3 p.m. It was not 
the sort of adventure which encourages the soldier. The 
small party were sniped from Arleux and never had a 
chance of doing more than swell a casualty list. Brodie 
was wounded and taken prisoner. Corporal Town was 
killed. Another man was wounded and made prisoner. 
Only one returned to report that the wire was thick and 
unbroken. The battalion were ordered on the following 
day to find three companies to enter the Oppy switch line 
and bomb it clear with the help of the 2nd Oxford and 
Bucks. Fortunately the division prevented this project 
being carried out. Four separate brigades attempted to 
take this line later on, and all failed. The defence had, 
in fact, made a recovery, as the 20th Battalion also dis- 
covered when they attacked south-east of Heninel on the 
same day. This small operation attained no success. 
Second Battle of the Scarpe. — On April 23rd, the 
second Battle of the Scarpe began. The 7th Battalion's 
share in this battle was an attack north of Gavrelle 
which assisted the other units of the division to capture 
the village. Even in the preparatory stage of the battle 
the battalion fared badly. A new line, about 200 yards 



ATTACK NORTH OF GAVRELLE, APRIL 23RD 167 

from the German positions was dug ; but it was no sooner 
ready than a sustained bombardment beat the trenches to 
pieces, and a new line had to be constructed during the 
night. The battalion proceeded to take up positions for 
attack at 8-30 p.m. on the night of the 22nd, and at 
4.45 a.m., zero, the infantry began the advance. The men 
followed the barrage closely ; but on reaching the front 
line found that the wire was only cut in one place, forming 
a narrow south-easterly lane. The men were thus con- 
gested and lost direction ; and they encountered bombing 
parties and a very heavy machine-gun fire. Many 
casualties were sustained from this cause until a party 
was organised to attack and capture them. The guns were 
rushed and twenty-three prisoners were captured. The 
Fusiliers then pressed on to the support line, and established 
a post against the Germans' bombers, who were shep- 
herded back up the trench. The battalion had now 
got forward to the railway where it was hoped to dig a 
trench under cover of darkness. Posts were established 
about 25 yards from the railway and were maintained in 
spite of the activity of the low-flying German planes which 
signalled the Fusiliers' position. At 8 p.m. the line was 
linked up with that of the 6th Brigade on the left, and at 
daybreak the battalion had been relieved after a successful 
engagement. The number going into action was, 18 
officers ; other ranks, 358. Four officers, Captain Gast, 
Captain Granville, Lieutenant Wood and Lieutenant 
Randall were killed, eight others were wounded. The 
battalion had been practically wiped out. 

The 10th Battalion also attacked at 4.45 a.m. on the 
same day and took the German second line without much 
difficulty, but further advance was held up by machine- 
gun fire and snipers until the 13th Battalion came up on 
the left flank. The advance was then resumed ; but the 
10th Battalion lost touch with the right and left units 
later on. At 9.30 a.m. the 10th, now consising of 3 
officers and 50 other ranks, had occupied Cuba Trench, 
and the 13th Battalion came up again about half an hour 



168 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

later. But the 63rd Brigade on the right were not found 
again until 9.55 p.m. The 10th Battalion had advanced 
up to the road running due south of Gavrelle and estab- 
lished a line not far from the north-western slopes of 
Greenland Hill. 

On the same day the 29th Division had gained ground 
east of Monchy. But the attack as a whole had been 
brought to a standstill short of the success which had been 
expected, and orders were given for the resumption on 
the 24th. The 2nd Royal Fusiliers advanced on a three- 
company front from Shrapnel Trench at 4 p.m., zero. 
Some 60 yards from the starting point, the battalion were 
turned towards the right in order to avoid some British, 
troops in front of them. At about 600 yards west of the 
Bois du Vert, the right (Z) Company were held up by 
machine-gun fire, and the left Company (X) turned half 
right to take the wood in flank. But at this point the 
company were very weak, and contact could not be 
achieved with the troops on either flank. There was one 
officer left, and he had 30 men with him. At 6.50 p.m. 
the position became untenable and they withdrew ; but 
W Company went round the north side of the wood, took 
up the position X had occupied, and beat off the enemy 
attacks, while Z Company on the right at length succeeded 
in overcoming the German resistance. The positions 
were consolidated and many German dead bodies were 
found on the ground with much equipment, packs, rifles, 
etc. If the 2nd Battalion had paid heavily for their 
success, the Germans found their resistance even more 
expensive. 

The 20th Battalion on the same day took over the 
advanced positions in front of Fontaine les Croisilles, 
from which the Germans had just retired. An outpost 
line consisting of ten strong points was organised and 

patrols were pushed out up to the Sensee. 

* * * * 

On April 28th began that series of attacks which aimed 
principally, if not wholly, at assisting the French. The 



OPPY WOOD, APRIL 29TH 169 

13th Battalion attacked from the trenches about 300 
yards east of the Gavrelle-Roeux road. Their objective 
was the Whip cross-roads, south-east of Gavrelle. The 
attack began at 4.25 a.m. About four hours later No. 3 
Company were sent up to the right of the 13th Rifle 
Brigade, who had secured their objective ; but the 
company could not get into contact with any troops on 
the right, and a German machine gun was in action at 
the cross-roads. At 10.15 a.m., however, the position 
had been cleared up and the two companies, Nos. 3 and 4, 
held the road, including the cross-roads, for some 250 
yards. The success was complete though the Fusiliers 
had been constantly harassed by fire from snipers and 
machine guns. The positions were retained intact until 
the battalion were relieved on the night of the 29th. 
While the Fusiliers were on their objective a body of the 
63rd Brigade swept across their front leading towards 
Square Wood from the south-west. They had lost 
direction, but they succeeded in carrying a body of 
Fusiliers with them until they were recalled. The 10th 
Battalion, in support of the 13th on their right flank, 
had made persistent attempts to get into touch with this 
brigade, but without success. 

Oppy. — The attack was continued on April 29th, and 
four battalions of the Royal Fusiliers made another 
attempt to conquer the Oppy defences. The Canadians 
took Arleux on the left and the 24th Battalion formed 
the left of the attack on Oppy Wood. They went forward 
at 4 a.m., and A and B Companies reached their objective, 
the sunken road between Arleux and Oppy, capturing 64 
prisoners, only to find that the right battalions had not 
reached their positions in the wood. Their right flank 
was therefore in the air. A furious bombing attack took 
place on the left flank, and such were the losses that it 
was decided to swing the right flank back to Oppy Trench, 
west of the sunken road and gradually retire along it. 
This was successfully accomplished. C and D Companies 
were sent that night to relieve the 2nd Highland Light 



170 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Infantry, immediately north of Oppy Wood, who had 
suffered very terribly from the fire from Oppy Wood. 
The 17th Battalion, who had been supporting the 24th 
during the day with B Company, finding their right in 
the air, formed a defensive flank. The line along this 
front was, in fact, pitted with gaps. Farther south the 
22nd Battalion advanced in perfect order, but were held 
up against dense wire, and when this was partly cut came 
under heavy machine-gun fire. 

On the right B Company found the wire still unpene- 
trable and Second Lieutenant J. Steele had a whole 
platoon shot down. At this juncture Second Lieutenant 
S. F. Jeffcoat, a newly-joined officer, found a gap, and with 
a handful of men jumped into the trench and throughout 
the morning was engaged bombing up it to the right. 
At every traverse the Germans resisted, but Jeffcoat, 
assisted by a few men of the 63rd Division, cleared a 
considerable length of the trench by sheer personal 
courage and leadership. He was mortally wounded, and 
was recommended for the V.C. C.S.M. Roger also ably 
assisted. The whole objective of the battalion was taken 
chiefly owing to Jeffcoat's fine work, and the 23rd 
Battalion reinforced on the final line. 

The 7th Battalion on the right had gallantly fought to 

the sunken road just north of the railway. Repeated 

bombing attacks on the left flank were beaten off, and a 

strong post was established near the ruined cottage, 

south of Oppy and 300 yards north of the railway. At 

one time the Bedfords, whom the 7th Battalion were 

supporting, were in touch with men of the 22nd Battalion. 

But for the most part the battalions engaged this day 

fought small engagements under peril of envelopment 

from both flanks ; and in the final result the general 

position was little changed. Three days later a company 

100 strong of the 22nd attacked north of Oppy as part of a 

composite battalion, but with little success. 
* *  * 

On May 3rd another attack was launched for the same 



THE BATTLE OF MAY 3RD 171 

purpose as that of April 28th, but on this occasion the battle 
front totalled sixteen miles. The 8th and 9th Battalions 
were engaged just south of the Scarpe and fought a very 
amazing battle. Together they totalled no more than 900 
men and their role was to cross about 1,000 yards, and 
their objective was almost 9,000 yards long. The 9th 
Battalion on the right started off from a trench which was 
partly in German hands, with a block dividing them from 
the Fusiliers. Zero was at 3.45 a.m. Scabbard Trench, 
the first objective, was reached by both battalions, and 
the line held for the moment lay just south of Roeux, 
south of the Scarpe. But a bombing attack along the 
river pushed both battalions out of the position, and at 
noon the British artillery put a 12 minutes' barrage on 
Scabbard Trench. A small party of the 9th had gone 
ahead and were now cut off, in advance of this line. 
Surprisingly enough they rejoined the battalion in the 
evening. They had been taken prisoner, but, caught by 
our own machine-gun fire on the road to Douai, they had 
escaped as the Germans ran away. Major Coxhead,* the 
acting CO., was killed in this battle. He had gone out 
into the open, as the trench was packed and he wished to 
reorganise. When he left the trench the first waves were 
well ahead ; behind them a desperate fight was going on 
for the possession of Scabbard Trench, and in the starting- 
off trench the Germans were counter-attacking from the 
block. Few positions have been as involved as this ; 
and it was due to Coxhead's courage and decision that 
something solid emerged at the end of the day. The 8th 
Battalion had gone through a similar train of vicissitudes. 
The machine-gun fire from Roeux caused numerous 
casualties and there was the same bold advance, a sudden 
and temporary crumpling in the intermediate positions, 
and active fighting on the jumping-off position. They 
took 1 officer and 44 other ranks prisoners. At night 
they formed one company, and the 8th and 9th were 

* Major Coxhead's diary, dispassionate, critical and detailed, has 
been almost invaluable for the period it covers. 



172 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

joined under the command of Lieut. -Colonel N. B. Elliot- 
Cooper. The 8th alone had lost 282 officers and men. 
The unit on the left had failed to carry Roeux and there 
was no support on the right. 

It was the strange vicissitudes of this engagement that 
provided Corporal G. Jarratt, of the 8th Battalion, with 
the opportunity for a splendid act of heroism. He had 
been taken prisoner with some wounded men, and was 
placed under guard in a dug-out. In the evening the 
troops drove back the enemy and the leading infantry- 
men proceeded to bomb the dug-outs. A grenade fell 
into the dug-out in which were Jarratt and his com- 
panions ; and, without a moment's hesitation, he placed 
both feet on it. He had instantly seen that the lives of 
all were at stake and he risked his own to save those of his 
companions. In the subsequent explosion both his legs 
were blown off. The wounded were later safely removed 
to our line, but, before this, Jarratt was dead. " By this 
supreme act of self-sacrifice the lives of the wounded were 
saved." He was subsequently awarded the Victoria 
Cross. 

Farther south, the 4th Battalion had attacked from a 
line about 1,000 yards east of Monchy, and had reached 
positions 100 yards east of the Bois des Aubepines. The 
men followed the barrage closely ; but the 1st German 
line had apparently been missed, and heavy loss was expe- 
rienced there. A hostile counter-attack from the east and 
north-east was beaten off ; but a second counter-attack 
got round the flanks of the 13th King's Liverpools and 
4th Royal Fusiliers. The two leading waves, with all the 
officers casualties, were cut off ; but the remainder of the 
battalion held their ground till nightfall, when, with only 
one officer left, they retired to the original position. It 
had been impossible to maintain communication with the 
front line. Runners were almost invariably shot down ; 
and one who got through took five hours to make the 
journey. The battalion on this day had 299 casualties, 
including 11 officers. About 1 a.m., on May 4th, Second 



THE TERRITORIALS ON MAY 3RD 173 

Lieutenant E. M. Buck returned from beyond the German 
front line system. He had lost all his men and had him- 
self been blown up. On the night of the 9th, six days 
later, there also returned three men who had been east of 
Infantry Hill since the morning of May 3rd. 

The nth Battalion were engaged opposite Cherisy in 
mopping up, moving dumps and supporting the assaulting 
battalions of the 54th Brigade. B Company, under Cap- 
tain Neate, were to mop up the village. The Middlesex 
with B Company got into and cleared Cherisy ; but the 
small band who had accomplished this serviceable achieve- 
ment were practically wiped out in a counter-attack from 
the right. No officers of either regiment returned. Neate, 
a young, spirited, and very efficient officer, was last seen 
with his revolver in his hand at the head of his men. C 
Company made an unsuccessful attempt to take Fontaine 
Trench which had not been captured by the assaulting 
companies, and merely sustained heavy loss. 

Another gallant but abortive action was fought by the 
2nd Londons who, with the 56th Division, lay on the left of 
the 3rd Division. The battalion went forward gallantly 
in the darkness, and took Cavalry Farm on the Arras- 
Cambrai road and the German position 100 yards to the 
east of it. The left battalion had not advanced in step 
and the 2nd Londons' left flank wavered a little before it 
got into its stride, when, after the farm buildings had been 
taken, it formed a defensive flank. These positions were 
held, despite heavy losses for nearly twenty-four hours, 
when, both flanks being exposed, they had to be aban- 
doned. A sergeant on this occasion distinguished him- 
self by an admirable piece of bluff. In his endeavour to 
find the left flank battalion he crossed the Cambrai road 
and walked into a German dug-out where he was taken 
prisoner. Before dawn on May 4th he had persuaded the 
seventeen Germans to surrender. By this time the batta- 
lion had retired ; but the sergeant safely brought his little 
flock across to the British line. On the north of the 2nd 
Londons, the 1st Londons had fought a very costly 



i 7 4 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

engagement to as little purpose as most of the units 

attacking that day ; but on May 14th Cavalry Farm was 

recaptured by them with practically no loss. 

It was in May that the 3/4 Londons and the 3/3 

Londons took over from the Australians a sector of the 

line on the right of Bullecourt. On the 14th of the month, 

after a bombardment of nineteen hours, they were attacked 

by the 3rd Prussian Guard. The two battalions fought 

magnificently and crushed the attack with rifle and 

machine-gun fire before it reached the trenches. Both of 

them suffered heavy loss ; but the line was maintained 

intact, and Lieut. -Colonel Beresford, who directed the 

3/3 with great courage and skill, was awarded the 

D.S.O. 

* • * * 

This long-drawn-out narrative may be terminated here. 
The battle had been initiated for distinct and valuable 
objectives ; but it was continued from loyalty to the 
French. It was in the latter period that the smallest 
gains and the greatest losses were recorded. But the 
struggle called on the gallantry and skill of the Fusilier 
battalions, who gave of both very remarkably. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE BATTLE OF MESSINES 

The Arras offensive gradually died down after May 3rd, 
though there were actions on the Hindenburg line and 
about the Souchez River and Avion until almost the end 
of June. But it was on May 4th or 5th * that it was 
agreed " to give immediate effect to the British plan of a 
Northern Offensive." To this plan the Battle of Messines 
formed a preliminary operation, and, after elaborate pre- 
paration, it was launched on June 7th, 1917. 

The objective was the Messines- Wytschaete ridge, 
which formed a most important observation post in the 
British positions, and the chord across it running slightly 
east of the hamlet of Oosttaverne. In the plan of battle 
the first German defensive system and the second, follow- 
ing the crest of the ridge, were to be carried in a first 
assault ; and the Oosttaverne line was to be captured by 
a second distinct movement. Four battalions of Royal 
Fusiliers took part in the battle, two of them being 
engaged in the opening attack. The 41st Division lay 
near St. Eloi, toward the north-west face of the salient, 
and the 26th and 32nd Royal Fusiliers, who belonged to 
it, went forward with great dash and secured their 
objectives. 

At 3.10 a.m., zero hour, there was a terrific explosion 
caused by the mines which had been driven under the 
German position, and at the same time the enemy lines 
were deluged by a bombardment that seemed the heaviest 
of the war. Then, in bright moonlight, the 26th Batta- 
lion advanced promptly and steadily, under the direction 
of Lieutenant R. C. Brockworth, M.C., suffering very few 

* Sir Douglas Kaig's Despatches, p. ioo, Note. 



176 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

casualties. They were the first troops on the Damm- 
strasse, Lieutenant Brockworth sending back the report 
of its occupation. So swiftly and successfully had the 
advance gone that Brockworth was awarded a bar to his 
M.C. Some 203 casualties were sustained before the day 
ended ; but up to this point there had been little appear- 
ance of resistance and very little loss. 

The 32nd advanced in support of the 26th Battalion. 
They went forward in four waves, keeping admirable 
order, and reached the first objective without opposi- 
tion. There, a pause was made for reorganisation ; 
and the battalion passed through the 26th at Damm- 
strasse, and moved towards their final objective. It is 
amazing that the units kept to their orders so well, for 
the whole of the ground was beaten out of recognition 
and the objectives were originally definite trenches. Near 
the final position most of the Germans fled. About thirty 
were taken prisoner, the majority of them very eager to 
give themselves up ; but a few were bombed out of dug- 
outs. But at the Black Line, from Goudezoune Farm to 
a point on Obstacle Switch 250 yards to the north, there 
was no opposition. The battalion dug themselves in 
about 100 yards beyond Obstacle Trench and established 
advanced posts with seven Lewis guns. The engagement 
was admirably carried out largely owing to the efficiency 
of the signalling under Second Lieutenant Home Galle and 
Sergeant Scoble. After passing the first objective, the 
Red Line, the companies were kept in constant touch with 
headquarters by visual signalling. The battalion went 
into action 17 officers and 551 other ranks strong and came 
out with 11 officers and 384 ranks. For an attack with 
important objectives which were secured in schedule time, 
the losses were not excessive. 

At 8.10 a.m. the work of these two battalions was over, 
except for the consolidation and organisation of the 
positions. It was 3.10 before the second phase of the 
battle began with the advance upon the Oosttaverne 
Line. The 1st Royal Fusiliers attacked in this part of 



THE BATTLE OF MESSINES, JUNE 7TH 177 

the battle, forming the right assaulting battalion of the 
17th Brigade. The 12th Battalion were left in dug-outs 
on the north and west edges of the Etang de Dickebusch 
in support ; but as this position lay nearly three miles 
from Dammstrasse they were not engaged during the 
battle. At 11.15 a.m., the Fusiliers learned that all the 
objectives of the 41st and 19th Divisions had been taken ; 
and an hour later they were ordered to move to the old 
front trench at 11.30 a.m. The battalion moved forward 
five minutes afterwards in artillery formation. It had 
become a swelteringly hot day, and the advance in such 
conditions was not over-enjoyable. At 2.10 p.m. Damm- 
strasse was reached and the battalion moved through the 
26th preparatory to the attack. 

The 1st Battalion had about a mile to go to their final 
objective. At 3.10 p.m. the advance began and the men 
moved very close to the barrage. Although the Germans 
had had a certain amount of time to recover there was 
still little organised opposition. The wire had been well 
cut, the strong points were battered, and the Germans were 
demoralised. But the swiftness and completeness of the 
Fusiliers' success was due to their splendid dash. Second 
Lieutenant Field, with a handful of D Company, rushed 
a strong point which was holding out and captured 25 - 
prisoners and two machine guns. B Company crossed 
Odyssey Trench and, despite a strong opposition, with the 
help of a platoon of A Company under Second Lieutenant 
Douglas Crompton rushed the strong point which formed 
part of the final objective. Crompton was unfortunately 
killed, as also was Second Lieutenant Shoesmith, who had 
also shown great gallantry in attack. At one point when 
B and D Companies had drawn apart and there was 
danger that the Germans might profit by the gap between 
them, Second Lieutenant Mander ran forward with his 
platoon and filled the gap. Sergeant Haldane's unselfish- 
ness in attending to the wounded of his two sections is also 
worthy of record. The sections being all casualties, he 
carried the wounded back, and bandaged them before 

F. n 



178 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

reporting himself, when he fainted from loss of blood 
and exhaustion. The Rev. Studdert Kennedy also did 
excellent work for the wounded. 

The final position was gained early, and at 4.30 p.m. 
the companies reported all objectives attained and that 
they were in touch with the battalions on the flanks. 
The line extended from the point where the Roozebeek 
cut Odyssey Trench to within a few yards of the road 
running north-east of Oosttaverne. At this point the 
position lay some 500 yards north-east of the hamlet. The 
1st Battalion in this battle took 130 men of the 150th 
Prussian Regiment prisoners, with a machine and two 
field guns, for a loss of 5 officers and no other ranks. 

When the 1st Battalion were consolidating the 
advanced positions, the 12th moved up to the old front 
line and before midnight went forward to the Dammstrasse 
near Hiele Farm. From this position they took rations 
and supplies to the 1st Battalion and the 3rd Rifle Brigade 
in the front line. At 9.30 p.m. on June 9th they moved 
forward to relieve the front line about the Roozebeek 
stream. The battalion headquarters were established in 
Oosttaverne Wood, near the Wambeke road ; and it was 
close to this place that the battalion suffered a very search- 
ing blow. They were destined to take part in rounding 
off the battle and yet at one stroke they lost four of their 
chief officers. A shell fell close to headquarters, catching 
Lieut-Colonel Compton, Captain Gordon, Captain J. V. 
Wilson and Captain Whittingham (R.A.M.C), and 
wounding them. Captains Gordon and Whittingham 
died at midnight. Lieut.-Colonel Compton lingered till 
July 7th, when he too succumbed. At 10 p.m., Captain 
Ventres assumed command of the battalion, pending the 
arrival of Major Neynoc, who reached headquarters about 
3.30 a.m. At 9.35 that night (June 10th) the battalion 
was relieved, and suffered 52 casualties in the barrage 
during relief. It was an unfortunate tour. 

Major Hope Johnstone of the 1st Battalion took over 
command on the nth ; and at 11 p.m. on the 12th, the 



ATTACK ON BATTLE WOOD, JUNE 14TH 179 

1 2th Royal Fusiliers relieved the Durham Light Infantry 
in Impartial Trench preparatory to attack. Their role 
was to round off the battle by the capture of the dug-outs 
north of the railway, at Battle Wood, in conjunction with 
the 8th Buffs. The battalion attacked at 7.30 p.m., 
June 14th, on a two-company front, and a very stiff 
right ensued. The bombardment had left the dug-outs * 
undamaged ; they were well garrisoned and a very strong 
resistance was offered. The right leading company, 
No. 4, came under intense machine-gun fire from the flank 
on reaching the line of dug-outs on the railway embank- 
ment. The first dug-out contained 1 officer and 20 men 
and a machine gun, and the platoon ordered to deal with 
it had a fierce hand-to-hand battle and had to kill prac- 
tically the whole garrison. Another dug-out had a 
garrison of 40 and the men came out and fought it out in 
the open. The platoon ended the resistance by a fierce 
bayonet charge in which 20 Germans were killed and 20 
taken prisoner. These encounters had so weakened the 
company that reinforcements had to be sent for. Two 
platoons of No. 2 — the reserve — Company were sent up, 
and had to go through a heavy barrage ; but with careful 
leading they came through without too heavy a loss. 

Meanwhile No. 1 — the left leading — Company had met 
with little opposition, except at a post in the ravine in 
Impartial Trench. This ravine was the objective of the 
right platoon of the company, but the platoon commander 
saw that another ravine which ran along the road 100 
yards farther south offered a better site for a strong post, 
and accordingly this was made good under heavy machine- 
gun fire. The battalion had orders to establish five strong 
posts, but the conditions made this task extremely 
difficult. The pill-boxes were very hard to cope with, 
and one of them kept up a consistent machine-gun fire 

* This was the first experience of the real formidableness of the " pill- 
boxes," as these concrete dug-outs came to be called. They had 
survived the attacks of another division and had won a certain unfor- 
tunate notoriety already. 

N 2 



180 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

during the process of consolidation. The work, however, 
was pushed through in full view of the enemy, and before 
darkness fell the posts were consolidated and an organised 
defensive established. When it is remembered that the 
attack was only launched at 7.30 p.m., it will be 
appreciated that the battalion had added a considerable 
achievement to their record. The organisation was not 
only remarkably good ; it was even remarkably successful 
in weathering the stresses and strains of battle. Tapes 
were laid from the forward posts to battalion head- 
quarters and to the dressing station. These tapes were 
of great assistance to the stretcher bearers. Second 
Lieutenants W. S. Nathan and H. A. Bayly were killed, 
Second Lieutenant Bescoby was mortally wounded and 
died four days later, four other officers were wounded, 
and there were 92 other ranks casualties. Considering 
the nature of the fighting, and that all objectives were 
gained, and 28 prisoners and a machine gun captured, 
these casualties cannot be considered excessive. 

Appreciative messages followed speedily. The com- 
mander of the division congratulated the battalion on 
their success. The Second Army Commander sent a 
message congratulating " all concerned in the success of 
last night's operations which have succeeded in sub- 
stantially advancing our whole line. The operations 
reflect much credit on all concerned." 

In action the 12th appeared to have a fair share of luck. 
Out of it, they seemed to suffer every sort of mishap. 
The loss of four officers by a chance shell has already been 
recorded. A little later in the month they were in Hill 60 
area. Back areas came in for a heavy bombardment, 
preventing rations being brought up. Four yards from 
battalion headquarters — the coincidence is remarkable — 
a shell blocked up the gallery. Lieutenant Martin was 
partly buried by the explosion and gassed. Captain 
Skene (R.A.M.C.) and Captain Simkins were also gassed, 
and Major Hope Johnstone, Major Neyoc and Second 
Lieutenant Fonteyn suffered slightly, but were able to 



THE BATTLE OF MESSINES 181 

remain at duty. Three days later when they relieved the 

ist Battalion, a shell caused 19 casualties in a working 
party. 

The Battle of Messines was a prelude to the Ypres 

battles of 1917. The Fusiliers had a distinct hand in the 

launching stage, and also a very vivid and vital part in 
rounding it off. 



CHAPTER X 

THE THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES 

The Flanders offensive was very elaborately staged and 
was launched with high hopes. The Battle of Messines 
was a prelude, which was very successfully performed, 
but another part of the plan was anticipated by the 
Germans. If the offensive achieved sufficient success 
before the end of the season it was intended to attack 
along the coast from the Yser positions. 

The Yser. — But on July ioth the Germans made a sur- 
prise assault on these positions and part of the bridge- 
head was lost. At that moment the third battle of Ypres 
had not begun, and the coastal and Yser defences were 
still maintained for some time. In this part of the scheme 
the 20th Battalion took part, and the novelty, if not the 
importance of their role deserves some record. On the 
opening day of the Ypres battle (July 31st) the battalion 
detrained at Dunkirk and embarked on barges, in which 
they slept that night. In the early morning of August ioth 
they were moved up the canal to Bray dunes. On the 
following day they took over the Bray dunes defences. 
Posts between the frontier and Bray Plage were to be 
manned in case of attack by the sea. It was not a very 
strenuous life, and the battalion were able to put in a 
fortnight's training. On the 15th they moved to Kuhn 
Camp, near Oost Dunkerque, and on the following day 
marched via Welpem and Nieuport to take over trenches 
in the Lombartzyde sector. C Company occupied Nose 
Trench below the Lombartzyde position and received a 
welcome from gas shells on arrival. Little beyond the 
ordinary routine marked this tour of the trenches, and 
they were in support when B Company had to go up to 



BATTLE OF YPRES, JULY 31ST, 1917 183 

the line suddenly on the night of August 25th to support 

the Camerons who had been compelled to evacuate the 

Geleide Brook position. B Company took over and 

organised Nasal Trench, and held two posts on the Geleide 

Brook. It was their last active part in the work of this 

sector, for they were relieved on August 27th, and on the 

last day of the month went into training near St. Omer. 

Though they had been involved in little beyond the 

ordinary trench activity they had lost, in the month, 63, 

including 12 killed. 

* * * * 

By this time the third battle of Ypres had been 
launched and had shown those features that, in the end, 
robbed it of the strategic significance expected when it 
was planned. On July 31st two Royal Fusilier battalions 
took an active part in the opening attack. They were 
engaged on a sector that from the beginning meant hard 
fighting and little success. The 26th Royal Fusiliers 
attacked at Battle Wood, but little progress was made. 
An hour before zero, which was at 3.50 a.m., a heavy rain 
began to fall and the ground was a mass of water-logged 
shell-holes. The men could hardly keep their foothold, 
and it is surprising that the battalion lost no more than 
160 killed, wounded and missing. 

On the right of the 41st Division, of which the 26th 
Battalion formed part, was the 24th Division, containing 
the 1st and 12th Battalions. The 1st attacked at zero 
with the 12th Battalion 200 yards in the rear. The 
leading companies as usual clung closely to the barrage. 
A number of casualties were sustained as the men crossed 
the valley in which lies the sunken road towards the eastern 
end of Shrewsbury Wood, but the Germans did not 
attempt to stand until the strong point south of Jeffrey 
Avenue was reached. This trench runs from the north- 
eastern face of Clonmel Copse to the northern edge of 
Shrewsbury Wood. At this point the battalion were 
held up until Lieutenant Flack's party rushed it. Flack 
knocked out the machine gun with a rifle grenade, and 



184 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

was subsequently awarded a bar to the M.C. for this 
service. This part of the line was then consolidated. 
C Company, under Captain Leeming, reached the trench 
on the south-western face of Bodmin Copse, and here he 
was killed. The German snipers were very active, and 
C Company was deprived of an efficient leader. This 
company on the left of the advance alone maintained its 
direction. A very sustained fire had been kept up from 
Lower Star Post, in the heart of Shrewsbury Wood, and 
it was owing to this, apparently, that the battalion on 
the ist Royal Fusiliers' right swerved, causing the Fusiliers' 
right company also to swerve. 

At 4.15 a.m. the 12th Battalion passed through the ist 
in Jeffrey Avenue. They had been held up while the ist 
were reducing numerous strong points, and had suffered 
heavy loss. Captain H. J. Cox, Captain H. D. Doudney, 
Lieutenant A. J. Waby and Second Lieutenant W. F. 
Cooper were killed, and Second Lieutenant E. Cohen was 
mortally wounded. Captain F. C. Day was also wounded. 
These casualties could not but gravely weaken the 
battalion. Five minutes before the 12th passed through 
the ist, Second Lieutenant H. Martin with the signallers 
advanced, but he was killed on the way up. The advance 
from Jeffrey Avenue had made but little way before it 
was held up at a strong point on the western edge of 
Bodmin Copse. No. 3 Company rushed this position, 
and the 12th pushed through the copse to its eastern edge, 
but were there held by machine-gun and rifle fire. The 
advance had to be abandoned and a line was established 
enclosing the greater part of Bodmin Copse. A strong 
point was established in the trench about 100 yards to 
the north-east of the north-eastern corner of the copse, 
and there Lieutenant N. P. Mussbaum was wounded. 

That night a final line was established some 500 yards 
west of Bassevillebeek and held by the ist Battalion, the 
12th, with the 3rd Rifle Brigade and the Leinsters. On 
this day, the ist Battalion sustained 277 casualties, 12 
being officers, 3 of whom were killed. The 12th Battalion 



CASUALTIES ON JULY 31ST 185 

lost 9 officers and 170 other ranks, killed and wounded. 
One officer was killed at the jumping-off place and one, 
the CO., had almost exactly the same fate as the officer 
he succeeded. Battalion headquarters were moved up as 
the advance made progress, and Lieut. -Colonel Hope 
Johnstone was mortally wounded as he approached the 
new position. Captain A. Simpkins took the command of 
the battalion. Headquarters were moved again because 
of the heavy shelling ; and even in its third position it 
fell under a severe bombardment. Messages failed to 
reach headquarters, the runners being knocked out on the 
way. As the command of the battalion was so gravely 
weakened, they were relieved at 11 p.m. Three-quarters 
of an hour before it had begun to rain again, and the 
ground seemed unnecessarily irritating to the weary men 
who had to make their way back over it. 

Fighting was still in progress on the line south of Shrews- 
bury Wood, and the conditions at the front were very 
terrible. Many wounded were still lying about in shell- 
holes as the stretcher bearers had suffered so many casual- 
ties. Seven officers and 69 other ranks were sent up to 
the 1st Battalion from the transport lines on August 2nd, 
and on the next day they moved back with the 12th 

Battalion to Micmac Camp. 

* * * * 

The 32nd, who had moved up to the front near Klein 
Zillebeke, had a strange experience on August 5th. The 
Germans had delivered counter-attacks on various parts 
of the front, and on that day the blow fell to the left of the 
battalion front. At 4.10 a.m. the enemy barrage lifted 
and the Germans advanced under cover of fog and smoke 
bombs. Only half the front was involved ; and there the 
attack was held up by rifle and machine-gun fire. But the 
Germans broke through the right flank of the battalion 
further north and a party of them got to the rear of the 
32nd Royal Fusiliers. At midday it was ascertained that 
the enemy were holding 100 yards of Jehovah Trench, 
which was sited in a strip of wood lying north of Klein 



186 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Zillebeke road and some 500 yards east of the village. 
This situation was cleared up by the bold and decisive 
action of Major Robinson, Captain H. L. Kirby and Second 
Lieutenant G. W. Murrell, and when the battalion moved 
back on relief, the next day, the position was restored. 
Major Robinson led a few men against the German detach- 
ment who had got behind the centre post in the forward 
zone and succeeded in killing part of them and dispersing 

the rest. 

* * * * 

On August 10th the nth Battalion took part in one of 
those minor operations which are the aftermath of all 
great battles ; and it was their fate to fight over much the 
same ground as that on which the 4th Battalion had 
clashed with the Grenadier Guard Regiment in the first 
Battle of Ypres. The Fusiliers, the right assaulting batta- 
lion of the 54th Brigade, had their right flank near the 
Ypres-Menin road ; and at 4.35 a.m. B Company (Captain 
Fuller) on the left, D (Captain Gray) on the right, attacked 
from this position. They advanced steadily against little 
opposition until the machine-gun fire from Inverness 
Copse — in the neighbouring brigade area — brought up 
the right flank and made it swerve to the left. On the 
left, however, the men penetrated some distance into Glen- 
corse Wood, despite the ten or twelve " pill-boxes " stand- 
ing like sentinels on the edge, some 200 yards from the 
south-west corner of the wood. Some of D Company also 
got well forward and, with Captain Gray, reached Fitz- 
clarence Farm. Gray was there shot through both knees, 
but continued to fire from a shell-hole. Fuller was shot 
through the head in a gallant attempt to rush a machine- 
gun emplacement. 

As a natural consequence, a gap was made between the 
nth Battalion and the brigade on their right. In less 
than two hours all the officers of the assaulting companies 
were casualties, and a counter-attack was initiated by the 
Germans. The Fusiliers were out of touch with the troops 
on both flanks ; and a skilful bombing attack down the 



SECOND ATTACK AT YPRES, AUGUST i6th 187 

Jargon and Jap Trenches rendered their position impossible 
to maintain. Issuing from Inverness Copse the Germans 
almost penetrated to the rear of (C) the support company. 
Despite the cool and courageous handling of the men by 
the N.C.O.'s, Sergeants Wilson, Berry and Burch, and 
Corporal Hallett, the Fusiliers could only remain where 
they were at the imminent peril of envelopment. They 
were compelled to retire and establish themselves some 
200 yards east of Clapham Junction, in touch with the 
55th Brigade on the right. Some of the men were cut off, 
and one of them gave a good account of himself. Private 
Arthur Jakes remained calmly in an advanced shell-hole, 
sniping all the day, and at night found his way through 
the German lines back to his battalion. The nth re- 
mained in their position until 4 a.m. on August nth 
when they were relieved. They went back to Dickebusch 
huts weaker by 17 officers and 328 other ranks than when 
they entered battle. 

Battle of Langemarck. — On August 16th the " second 
attack " was launched, and the Royal Fusiliers were repre- 
sented in it by the battalions of the London Regiment. 
But practically no progress was made. The " pill-boxes," 
which had proved so formidable an obstacle to the Royal 
Fusiliers on August 10th, and even at the end of the 
Messines battle, now began to attract official attention. 
Nothing short of a direct hit put them out of action, 
and standing inconspicuously but a few feet above the 
ground it was almost impossible to hit them except by 
chance. It was the " pill-boxes " that proved too much 
for the London Regiment. The 2nd Londons attacked 
on the left of the London Rifle Brigade, eastwards and 
slightly north from the western face of Glencorse Wood. 
The men fought very gallantly and reached all objec- 
tives, but the flanking battalions had found it difficult 
to maintain themselves when the objective was reached. 
The machine-gun fire was very heavy, and Nonne Boschen 
and Polygon Wood provided ample cover. In spite of 
this one officer reached the racecourse in Polygon Wood 



188 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

with his platoon, where, fighting desperately, he was sur- 
rounded and forced to surrender, when quite defenceless 
from lack of ammunition. Before doing so, however, he 
was able to send a message by pigeon : " Ammunition and 
bombs exhausted. Completely surrounded. Regret no 
course but to surrender." Colonel Kellett and almost all 
the officers became casualties ; and at length the battalion 
with their neighbour had to go back to the starting point. 
With one officer, Captain Stevens, the adjutant, and about 
50 other ranks, they were withdrawn. 

The 4th Londons, attacking between Glencorse Wood 
and Inverness Copse, had an even worse fate. They came 
up against the " pill-box " system which had neutralised 
the success of August 10th, and the objectives were never 
taken. The battalion lost heavily in the unequal struggle. 
And the 3rd Londons also failed to capture their objec- 
tives. In each case where the troops achieved success 
they found themselves gravely weakened when the speedy 
and heavy counter-attack was launched. The bad 
weather made aeroplane reconnaissance practically impos- 
sible ; and hence there was no warning of the counter- 
attacks and no artillery support against them. The new 
tactics led to a modification of the artillery tactics and the 
readjustment of the command, so that the Menin road 
area could be placed as a separate feature under one com- 
mander. The sector was entrusted to Sir Herbert 
Plumer. 

On August 16th another Fusilier Battalion, the 2nd, 
were ready to attack north of the Ypres-Thorout railway, 
if called upon, being attached to the 88th Brigade for the 
purpose. But the 29th Division's attack was so successful 
that the battalion were not called upon, and reverted 
naturally to the orders of the 86th Brigade. It was on 
this night that a shell falling outside headquarters severely 
wounded Second Lieutenant Hewlett and killed C.S.M. 
Rolfe — a great loss, for Rolfe had always carried himself 
in action with conspicuous gallantry. 

An amusing incident occurred in this sector of the line 



PATROL ACTION, AUGUST 22ND 189 

two days later. Two men of the 2nd Battalion were 
carrying water to the advanced trenches when they lost 
their way. They were unarmed, and they ought to have 
felt duly depressed when they ran into an armed German 
patrol of three men. However, arguing that the best 
defence is a resolute offensive they at once attacked and 
captured the enemy, a striking and amusing illustration 
of the difference between German and British morale. 

On August 22nd, a patrol of the 1st Battalion, who were 
then in the line near Bodmin Copse, carried out a minor 
operation which was thought sufficiently good to merit 
the study of all the battalions in the II. Corps. The 
G.O.C. sent round a report which may be printed here : 
" Following account of a minor operation is forwarded 
for information as an example of the success which attends 
good leadership and initiative when coupled with the 
correct use of fire to cover movement. Efficient recon- 
naissance prior to the operation ensured that the fire of 
the light trench mortars was both effective and accurate, 
and this conduced largely to the success of the 
operation. 

" At zero two trench mortars opened fire on the enemy's 
strong point, quickening the rate of fire at zero plus five 
minutes. At zero plus seven minutes the trench mortars 
lengthened range and the infantry advanced. 

" The assaulting troops — about a platoon * — advanced 
in two waves, and were stubbornly opposed by the enemy 
with rifle fire and bombs. Second Lieutenant Stonebanks 
at once ordered his flanks to swing round and come in on 
the flanks of the strong point, the centre meanwhile 
keeping up a heavy fire on the enemy's position and dis- 
tracting his attention. 

" The enemy, finding himself surrounded, surrendered. 

" The assaulting party pushed on to a second strong 
point which was found unoccupied. This was at once 
consolidated and a German machine gun, which was 

* One officer and 20 men actually, who accounted for double their 
number, fighting in prepared positions. 



igo ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

captured with a large quantity of ammunition, was 
brought into action against the enemy. 

" Five of the enemy were killed and 35 taken prisoner, 
of whom five were wounded. 

" Our casualties were four other ranks wounded, two 
of whom are at duty." 

It only remains to add that Second Lieutenant Stone- 
banks was himself wounded, but the brilliant little 
operation deserved the praise it received. Stonebanks 

received the M.C. 

* * * * 

After the attack on August 16th the wet weather and 
the arrangement of new tactics to suit the new elastic 
defence of the Germans imposed a long interval in the 
operations ; and, although minor assaults were delivered 
here and there, no further concerted movement took place 
in this area until September 20th. There was minor 
activity on other parts of the line. Several heavy raids, 
for instance, were carried out by the 4th Battalion in 
the Lagnicourt sector. On August 8th, on taking over 
trenches there, the battalion had discovered a German 
telephone wire leading from the wire in front of one of 
their posts towards the German line. Major Winnington 
Barnes put an end to any usefulness it might have by 
cutting it about 60 yards from the German wire. On 
the 17th they began an exchange of compliments with 
the enemy by delivering a gas attack, which was acknow- 
ledged by a bombardment of 3,000 shells. Strong raiding 
patrols carried out operations on the 23rd, 29th and 30th. 

Menin Road Ridge. — In the Ypres area the second 
line battalions of the London Regiment were engaged on 
September 20th. These battalions were originally third 
line battalions, but the second line battalions had been 
amalgamated with the first in May, 1916, and the third, 
thereupon, became the second. The 2/3 Londons were 
in the 173rd Brigade and operated on the right of the 
division north of St. Julien ; and all the battalions had 
uniform success on this occasion, taking their objectives 



ATTACK OF SEPTEMBER 20TH 191 

with distinct skill. It was to some extent a justifica- 
tion of the new tactics ; but it was also an endorsement 
of the training and morale of these battalions in their first 
major operation. Schuber Farm was gallantly rushed by 
the 2/4 Londons, with the help of the 8th Liverpool Irish 
and two tanks. 

Below the Ypres-Menin road the 26th and 32nd 
Battalions were engaged, their object being the Tower 
Hamlets spur. The 26th were on the left and the 32nd 
on the right of the brigade front, both battalions being 
in support, with their front on the road running north 
from the west of Lower Star Post. The approach was 
characteristic of the time and place. The 26th had to 
step off the duckboard track to allow the 32nd to get in 
front. This meant stepping into the mud which clung 
to several of the men so tightly that they found very 
great difficulty in getting out again. At zero both 
battalions moved forward so close to the barrage that the 
German barrage fell behind them. The 26th ran into 
heavy machine-gun fire almost at once ; but for the first 
200 yards the 32nd found no opposition until the fire from 
the left checked them. Lying out in shell-holes the 
Germans inflicted heavy casualties on the right of the 26th 
and the left of the 32nd. 

At this point the majority of the officers of the 32nd 
had become casualties. The front assaulting battalion 
had been almost wiped out. But A Company, under 
Second Lieutenant Christie, and B under the C.S.M., 
pushed right and left, respectively, and the advance was 
enabled to resume progress. Through the check, the 
advantage of the barrage had been lost, but the enemy 
now put up little opposition. Small parties of Germans 
began to come forward with white flags, and the Fusiliers 
thus encouraged, made another spurt forward. By 
9.0 a.m. the two first objectives had been captured. 
The 32nd had now lost more than half its strength, and 
no further progress could be made against the fierce and 
sustainedjnachine-gun fire. 



192 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

The 26th had fared no better. Lieut. -Colonel G. 
McNichol, D.S.O., was killed early in the battle, and 
Major A. Maxwell, who took over the command, was 
awarded the D.S.O. for his gallantry and skilful leadership. 
All the officers but one were either killed or wounded. 
Indeed, in less than ten minutes there was only one 
unwounded officer of the 19 who had gone forward. But 
Lieutenant S. H. Firth and Second Lieutenant F. A. B. 
Jones * finding they were the only officers in the front 
line, held on with a small body of men. No communica- 
tion could be obtained with headquarters until a staff 
officer arrived with some pigeons. A message was at 
once sent off by pigeon, and at four o'clock in the after- 
noon the 20th Durham Light Infantry came up. The 
enemy had now got the range of the position, and so 
effective was their fire that the five Fusilier officers, who 
were sent up just before dark were all casualties within 
two hours, four being killed and one wounded. 

At one time the line was broken on the left, and the 
men in the support line on the right were turned about, 
righting with their backs to the front line. Their unex- 
pected volley checked the German advance and the left 
flank recovered. On the morning of the 22nd no food and 
little ammunition remained from what had been brought 
up on the night of the 19th, and Private Sturgis volunteered 
to go back for supplies. Three times on his way back he 
was blown up, and when at length he found battalion 
headquarters he fainted. But as soon as he recovered 
he started off with a party carrying food and ammunition. 
The enemy barrage caught them about half way, and the 
party were inclined to run back. But Sturgis threatened 
to shoot them if they did not go forward ; and at length 
they came to the front line. When the battalion was 
withdrawn in the early morning of the 24th, they had 
suffered 363 casualties, including 23 officers. This was 

* Second Lieutenant Jones was wounded in the chest early in the 
fight. A little later a shell exploded near him and burst the drums of 
both ears. But it was not until two days later that he reported wounded 



FOURTH BATTALION AT BREMEN REDOUBT 193 

the heaviest casualty list the battalion had ever incurred 
in a single operation. The Menin road area continued to 
be true to its reputation. 

Battle of Polygon Wood. — On September 26th the 
4th Battalion began a series of operations which add a 
touch of relief to the bitter and unsuccessful fighting on 
the Menin road area. So fine was their discipline, and so 
skilfully were they handled that all orders were carried 
out with precision that was only too rare in this terrible 
battle. The battalion stood to in the Zonnebeke area at 
zero, 5.50 a.m., while the 3rd Division attacked. At 
3 p.m. the battalion received a verbal warning that they 
might have to reinforce the line as the attack on Hill 40, 
just north of the Ypres-Roulers railway, and near Zonne- 
beke, had been unsuccessful, and in this case they would 
come under the orders of the 8th Brigade. Major Win- 
nington Barnes was at this time in command, as Colonel 
Hely Hutchinson had been attached to the 4th Division 
as liason officer the day before. 

At 5.30 p.m. this order was confirmed in writing and 
the battalion were ordered to occupy the old British front 
line in Bremen Redoubt. This movement carried out in 
daylight under full observation was the source of many 
casualties. Low-flying German aeroplanes bombed them 
as they were forming up, and signalled the position to the 
enemy artillery. As a consequence a heavy barrage was 
put down, but despite severe losses the battalion were in 
no way disorganised and moved forward in great style. 
On taking up position at the Bremen Redoubt the Fusiliers 
again suffered heavily. The barrage was now on the 
redoubt, and it was with the utmost difficulty that the 
men could be got to their positions. In front of them this 
determined German resistance had produced some dis- 
organisation in the attacking force, and it was decided to 
move the battalion forward to a ridge some 300 yards in 
front of the Bremen Redoubt. This position was taken 
up and all stragglers in the neighbourhood were rallied. 
The shell fire continued to be severe, and the losses heavy. 



194 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

The ground was very bad, and it was difficult to collect 
the men in the midst of the heavy bombardments when 
the battalion were ordered to move forward at i a.m. on 
the 27th. Their new position was between 200 and 300 
yards west of the road running north-west from Zonnebeke, 
with the right flank about 400 yards north of the railway. 
In the morning the battalion had two companies in front 
and two in rear, with the 13th King's on the right and the 
59th Division on the left. 

At 2 p.m. the battalion were ordered to move forward 
and occupy a line some 200 to 250 yards west of the road 
from Zonnebeke station to Jacob's House and to connect 
up with the East Yorks and K.S.L.I., still keeping touch 
with the 13th King's on the right. In spite of the heavy 
machine-gun and rifle fire from Hill 40, which caused 
many casualties, the movement was carried out in good 
order. The two battalions on the left, holding a line of 
shell-holes to Jacob's House were relieved by the Royal 
Fusiliers on the night of September 28th ; and the bat- 
talion dug and consolidated two lines of trenches along 
the whole of their front to the left of the 13th King's. On 
September 30th they were relieved, after a tour of four 
days, during which time they had carried out every duty 
allotted to them with perfect discipline and efficiency. 
Their casualty list totalled 205, but they had found a 
crumbling position and they left one established and 
organised. 

It was on September 30th that the 13th Battalion were 
called upon to deal with a local counter-attack. They 
were lying at the time astride the Menin road, with an 
advanced blockhouse near the western edge of Gheluvelt 
Wood. At 5.30 a.m. a heavy bombardment by trench 
mortars was opened by the Germans on the whole position, 
and the support lines as far back as Bassevillebeek valley 
came under a heavy barrage. Ten minutes later the 
advanced post, which was held at the time by Second 
Lieutenant Shorman and 10 other ranks of No. 2 Company, 
was attacked by about 300 Germans, armed with jlamm en- 



13TH BATTALION AT MENIN ROAD 195 

werfer. After a short and fierce struggle the post was 
captured, all the garrison being killed or wounded. An 
immediate counter-attack was organised by Captain T. 
Whitehead, commanding No. 2 Company, and very swiftly 
the blockhouse was cleared of all the enemy. Second 
Lieutenant Shorman, who was badly burned and was last 
seen fighting, was missing. Second Lieutenant H. C. 
Bevan, who had been on patrol at the moment of the 
attack, was found beside the post badly wounded ; and 
the total casualties were 26 in an operation which occupied 
a very short space of time, but was carried out with bitter 
hand-to-hand fighting. The morning mists had prevented 
the rifle grenade rocket from being seen, and there was 
consequently no artillery support, though the whole 
battalion on the right had a barrage put down on their 
front. Captain Whitehead was awarded the M.C. for his 
skilful and energetic leadership, and C.S.M. J. Edwards 
and Private W. Digby, both of No. 2 Company, received 
the D.C.M. The battalion also received the congratula- 
tions of the Brigadier,* the Divisional f and the Corps 
commanders. 

Battle of Broodseinde. — Five similar attacks were 
delivered by the Germans on October 1st. Yet another 
was launched on the morning of the 3rd, and that night 
there was a heavy gale with much rain. But the advance 
was resumed once more. The 13th Battalion took part 
in the attack with the 10th supporting. Since repelling 
the German attack on September 30th, they had lost 
heavily from the enemy bombardment. No. 2 Company 
in Bodmin Copse suffered very seriously on October 2nd, 
when No. 1 Company was practically wiped out, and 
No. 3 Company's carrying parties lost heavily. The 
remainder of No. 2 Company was divided between Nos. 1 
and 3 ; and when the battalion attacked its total strength 
was 13 officers and 233 other ranks. The role of the 

* " You have worthily upheld the traditions of your regiment." 
t " For very gallant defence and prompt and successful counter- 
attack." 

© 2 



196 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

battalion on October 4th was to seize the dug-outs strung 
across the northern part of Gheluvelt Wood and form a 
defensive flank to the 5th Division who were engaged 
north of the Menin road. The battalion were in position 
at 5.15 a.m., and a quarter of an hour later a heavy German 
barrage was put down. Fortunately for the battalion it 
fell chiefly north of the Menin road. Zero was at 6 a.m., 
and at that moment the battalion advanced, following 
the barrage so closely that though the German artillery 
were very prompt in their counter-barrage the assaulting 
troops suffered very little. But they encountered a heavy 
rifle and machine-gun fire from a blockhouse and also 
from Lewis House which had escaped the bombardment. 

The 13th King's Royal Rifle Corps, who were to have 
raided Lewis House, were therefore unable to effect much 
there, and this unreduced centre, lying to the right front 
of the Royal Fusiliers, was chiefly responsible for their 
failure to carry the objective. Their original line faced 
roughly east. To capture the line of blockhouses in 
Gheluvelt Wood they had to wheel so as to take up a final 
position facing towards the south. This operation brought 
them more and more under the fire from Lewis House, and 
Second Lieutenant A. A. Allen's leading platoon were at 
one point reduced to two. Later on he collected 14 men, 
but the flanking fire from Lewis House and the blockhouses 
compelled him to dig in. No. 3 Company suffered heavily 
from the short firing of our own field guns, but established 
their line with less difficulty. It was not until night that 
touch was gained with the Royal West Kents on the left. 
At first their right flank had been in the rear of the 
Fusiliers' left, but towards the end of the day the advance 
was continued, and finally their right forward post was 
some 100 yards in front of the Royal Fusiliers. Though 
the 13th Battalion had not secured their final objective, 
they had covered the flank of the 5th Division, and the 
major part of the task given them was carried out. In 
killed, wounded and missing they lost 208 officers and men 
out of the 246 who had gone into battle. 



ATTACK OF OCTOBER qth 197 

Battle of Poelcapelle. — The weather now appeared 
to have definitely broken. In the early days of October 
it had been intermittently rainy. On the 7th heavy rain 
again fell all day. These conditions interfered with the 
artillery preparations ; and, though it was possible to 
crush two hostile attacks on the 7 th, the perfection of 
counter-battery work, which was needed to cover a further 
advance, was impossible. The night of the 8th was 
almost as terrible as any experienced in the campaign. It 
was impenetrably black. The ground was deluged with 
rain, and a high wind drove the rain into the men's faces 
with the sting of whips. It was perilous to stray from the 
path, for the ground was now for the most part a trough 
of mud. Under such conditions it was not easy to 
assemble for the attack in the early hours of the 9th. But 
somehow the troops had become inured to such conditions, 
and the 2nd Battalion were in their places at zero. The 
attack was launched at 5.20 a.m. in conjunction with the 
French. Once more there was little from which to draw 
satisfaction in the role of the battalion. They were in 
support to the Lancashire Fusiliers, on the right of the 
29th Division, about 500 yards south of the Ypres-Staden 
railway. Captain Hood, with two platoons of Y Com- 
pany, pushed forward to reinforce the leading battalion 
and came under severe rifle fire after crossing the Conde 
House- (or Houthulst-) Poelcapelle road. But, advancing 
from shell-hole to shell-hole, they got forward about 200 
yards east of the road and were then brought to a stand- 
still by sustained fire from the right front. The 4th Divi- 
sion on the right could not be located, and Corporal Floyd 
sent out with a patrol reported a gap of 300 yards on this 
flank. The second objective had not been made good ; 
there were no supports, and, accordingly, Captain Hood 
consolidated the line from about 250 yards north of Conde 
House to about 100 yards north of Miller's House. 

Second Lieutenant Saul, with the right platoon of Z 
Company, followed Y Company. The other officers of Z 
became casualties ; and Saul followed Hood, passing 



198 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

through a few groups of Lancashire Fusiliers in shell-holes, 
until he was drawn off to the right, near the huts, about 
300 yards north-east of the Mill on the Poelcapelle- 
Houthulst road, where he was held up by rifle fire. On the 
left X Company, followed by W, advanced by the watch, 
passed through a line of Lancashire Fusiliers in shell-holes 
and prepared to advance on the third objective. They 
were in contact with the Worcesters on the left, but could 
not locate any one on the right ; and the line of Lanca- 
shires who were thought to be in front did not exist. They 
went forward once more by the watch ; but the right was 
held up by short shooting of our own barrage at Conde 
House, and when they could advance again the protection 
of the barrage had been lost. 

It was at Conde House that Sergeant J. Molyneux won 
the V.C. From the trench in front of the house a machine 
gun kept up a persistent fire on the advancing troops. 
Molyneux, who belonged to W Company, seeing that the 
attack was completely checked, at once organised a 
bombing party to clear the trench. Many of the Germans 
were killed, and the machine gun was captured. Molyneux 
then jumped out of the trench, and, calling on the men to 
follow, rushed forward against Conde House. He was 
well in front, and, when the others arrived, he was in the 
thick of a hand-to-hand fight. So swift and impetuous 
had been the assault that the struggle was soon over. 
Some 20 to 30 prisoners were taken, and the position, 
which had threatened to bring the whole battalion to a 
standstill, was captured. His action was as serviceable 
as it was daring. 

But despite the heroism of the advance, the final 
objective could not be reached. No troops were found 
ahead, and the second objective had not been taken. A 
line was therefore established with the right about 200 
yards below the road which runs from the Poelcapelle- 
Houthulst road north-east to the Ypres-Staden railway, 
and the left resting on the Poelcapclle-Houthulst road 
about 200 yards below the railway. It was literally a 




< ~ 



►* 


,£! 




o 


O 




Q 




h- 1 


/. 


CJ 


o> 


"i ^ 






6 


^ _ 


^ 


_^. 


+J 


X 


+-» 


o 


5 


— 


* r 


w 


I 


Qj 


X 

>" 


'S 


+-• 


(J 


be 


o 


c 


o 


o 


§ 


— 


„ 




£ 






^ 


i-< 


H 


t/1 


P* 


X 

< 




> 


w 


- 











P4 


/ 




a 


S> 




X 


fe 












a 

^ 



j o 












CONDITIONS OF 1HE FIGHTING 199 

filthy advance ; it was costly ; it was unsatisfactory. 
The battalion had advanced according to plan, but 
apparently no one else had. There was no obvious land- 
mark to stake out the day's work and round off their 
ordeal. But it was not so much a misfortune of the 
battalion's as a general characteristic of the operations in 
this phase of the battle. 

" By this time the persistent continuation of wet 
weather had left no further room for hope that the condi- 
tion of the ground would improve sufficiently to enable us 
to capture the remainder of the ridge this year. By limited 
attacks made during intervals of better weather, however, 
it would still be possible to progress as far as Passchen- 
daele, and, in view of the other projects which I had in 
view, it was desirable to maintain the pressure on the 
Flanders' front for a few weeks longer. 

" To maintain his defence on this front the enemy had 
been obliged to reduce the garrison of certain parts of his 
line to a degree which justified the expectation that a 
sudden attack at a point where he did not expect it might 
attain a considerable local success. The front for such an 
attempt had been selected. . . ." * 

Such thoughts, however, were not the inspiration of the 
troops, who had only their determination to see the thing 
through to carry them over an ordeal that remains almost 
indescribable. Another local attack was made on October 
12th despite the heavy rain that continued almost through- 
out the day. There was a further attack on October 22nd, 
and the nth Battalion were called upon to hold the posi- 
tions taken by the 10th Essex, who had successfully 
attacked the brewery east of Poelcapelle, until the 24th. 
They were then relieved and passed to Dirty Bucket Camp, 
a very aptly described place. 

Second Battle of Passchendaele. — On October 25th 
a strong west wind somewhat dried the surface of the 
ground and the night was fine. The stars shone out with 
the sharpened clarity of a frosty atmosphere. Another 

* Despatch. 



200 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

small attack was planned for the 26th ; and the 2nd line 
battalions of the London Regiment took up their positions 
with the 58th Division, below the Poelcapelle-Spriet road. 
The 2/2 Londons, attacking at 5.40 a.m., reached Cameron 
House — about 250 yards below the Poelcapelle-Spriet 
road — at 7.15 a.m. A Company under Captain Harper 
cleared three of the four " pill-boxes " at this point and 
sent back 17 prisoners. D Company, in command of 
Second Lieutenant J. P. Howie at 6.30 a.m. reached a 
" pill-box " about 200 yards above the Lekkerboterbeek 
and stormed it, capturing 32 prisoners ; and three-quarters 
of an hour later had to repel hostile counter-attacks 
directed against this point and Cameron House. A Com- 
pany, finding their flank uncovered by the retirement of 
the unit on their left, were compelled to withdraw ; but 
D clung to the mebus they had captured until the end of 
the day. Moray House, lying about 550 yards due east of 
this "pill-box," held up C Company all the day. The 
casualties were 11 officers (3 killed) and 386 other 
ranks. 

The 2/3 Londons were not so fortunate. The men were 
up to their waists in mud, and it was almost impossible 
to reach the enemy, who shot down the men as they 
struggled to advance. Nevertheless they managed to 
push their way, on the left of the 2/2nd half-way to the 
final objective, but were then unable to withstand the 
prompt and violent counter-attack. The Germans in 
the later stages of the battle depended much on wearing 
off the edge of the attack by light advanced troops, and 
then endeavoured to wipe out any success by immediate 
and heavy counter-attacks. Part of the 2/2 Londons 
had been able to hold their own against these tactics. 
But the 2/3rd were forced back, and their retirement 
involved the left of the 2/2nd. The 2/3M fell back to 
the assembly positions where, with the help of the 2/ist, 
they were able to beat off the enemy. The 2/3rd lost so 
heavily on this occasion that when the battalion were 
relieved only two officers and 17 men returned. Among 



7th BATTALION'S A1TACK, OCTOBER 30TH 201 

the casualties were Lieut. -Colonel P. W. Beresford, D.S.O., 

who was killed. 

Somewhat similar was the fate of the 2/4th, who made 

some headway, but could not capture their objectives. 

D Company, under Captain C. A. Clarke, seized and held 

advanced positions, and the battalion, with a casualty 

list of 11 officers and 368 other ranks, had to be content 

with this result. The Londons all suffered very terribly 

from the state of the ground. Many men were drowned 

in the shell-holes. 

* * # * 

Another attack was delivered on October 30th, and the 
7th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, who took part in it, suffered 
from the conditions that had so gravely affected the 
second line Londons. They too, were fighting in the 
trough of mud and water while other battalions advanced 
along the main ridge, where it was at least possible to 
move. The 7th Battalion moved up to their position 
below the Lekkerboterbeek, about 1,000 yards west of 
the Paddebeek, on the afternoon of the 28th, and on the 
following morning a practice barrage was put down about 
200 yards beyond the line of the advanced posts. The 
German counter-barrage came down on the support and 
reserve companies, but it was fortunately not very heavy. 
A strong position on the left of the front gave considerable 
trouble and was reported to the brigade. It was then 
arranged that this point should be attacked by C Company, 
under Second Lieutenant Snelling. 

The barrage came down at 5.50 a.m. on the 30th and 
the advance began. The men soon lost touch with 
headquarters, and this proved a serious handicap. Five 
runners were sent up, but only one returned. Later, by 
interrogating the wounded it was found that the right of 
the line had got as far as the Paddebeek, though the left 
was still held up by the strong point which had been 
marked down before the beginning of the attack. The 
resistance of this single focus conditioned the battle on the 
63rd Division's front. At 12.55 P m - Second Lieutenant 



202 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Wells, who arrived at headquarters wounded, reported 
that heavy machine-gun and rifle fire was coming from 
this quarter. Men of all companies were lying out in 
front of it and there had been heavy loss already in the 
fruitless attempt to capture it. At 2.0 p.m. it was 
arranged that Second Lieutenant Hawkins, with two 
Stokes guns, should assist in another attack. Part of 
C Company were to make a feint from the front while 
Second Lieutenant Tricker led the attack from the flank. 
Every effort was strained to make this assault successful. 
It was arranged to deliver the attack at 5 a.m. on the 
morning of October 31st, and about four hours before 
Captain Ogle and Second Lieutenant Hawkins went forward 
to complete the arrangements. But at 7.45 a.m. they 
returned to report that the attack had again failed. Before 
the attack began, a shell destroyed one of the guns and its 
double crew of 20 men. The other fired six rounds and then 
ceased to function owing to the mud. A withering machine- 
gun fire was opened from the strong point, and Second 
Lieutenant Tricker was compelled to abandon the attack. 
The battalion had to hand over their positions on relief 
with this obdurate focus of resistance still defiantly active. 

But in the meantime the men had pushed forward on 
the right, though they failed to cope with the main enemy 
of the area and the time — the deep, adhesive mud. 
Officers and men tried to find some feasible pathway 
through it, but when they contrived to get forward the 
mud and water had robbed them of the advantage of the 
barrage. A small " pill-box " on the right was captured 
and an escaping German shot. They pressed up to within 
about 100 yards of Sourd Farm, about 600 yards east of 
the obdurate strong point and not 150 yards south of it. 

At 10.30 p.m. on the 30th it was arranged to relieve the 
battalion by the Royal Marine Light Infantry, but this was 
later changed to the Hawke Battalion. Arrangements 
were completed by 1.15 p.m. on the 31st, and the Hawke 
Battalion began to arrive at 7.30 p.m. The 7th Royal 
Fusiliers were still lying in their advanced positions. 



THE BATTLE OF YPRES ENDS 203 

Stretcher bearers had been active since noon and practically 
all the wounded were evacuated. Corporal Hancock, who 
was wounded on the 30th, had been taken prisoner by the 
Germans. He was removed to a dug-out where his wounds 
were dressed and he was fed. Later on he was handed 
over to the Fusiliers' stretcher bearers with the condition 
that he gave no information as to the German dispositions. 

It was 10.45 P m - on tne 3 Ist before the relief was 
complete. A desultory shelling was taking place at the 
time, and the battalion passed through a gassed area on 
their way to Irish Farm, where German aeroplanes 
greeted them. Fortunately there were no additional 
casualties ; for the battalion had already lost heavily. 
Captain Seward, Second Lieutenants Snelling and T. L. 
Williams, and 65 other ranks were killed, Second Lieu- 
tenants D. Bishop, M. A. Townshend, C. R. Wells and 
S. W. Dunthorn, and 148 other ranks wounded, and 19 
missing. Both of the attacking divisions were congratu- 
lated by the XVIII. Corps commander, who stated that 
" Nothing but the impossibility of crossing the mud pre- 
vented their usual complete success." The condition of 
the ground could not be exaggerated, as the commanding 
officer could testify from personal observation. " No 
troops could possibly pass over it." The seal is set on 
this statement by the fact that the line, on this sector of 
the Ypres front, lay at the end of the campaign very much 
as the 7th Battalion left it. 

But the long-drawn-out battle had now reached its last 
stage. On November 6th, the Canadians carried Pas- 
schendaele together with the high ground immediately to 
the north and north-west. The nth Battalion returned 
to the area in time for the ringing down of the curtain. 
On this occasion (November 10th) they took over positions 
south of Houthulst Forest. The ground was water- 
logged. Beyond the duckboard tracks, drowning was 
an ordinary risk, and it was hardly decent drowning. 
The water in the shell-holes was strongly impregnated 
with Yellow Cross gas. There was a considerable amount 



204 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

of gas shell expended on this area, and in their first tour 
of the trenches the nth Battalion had 21 gassed to 13 
wounded. The latter included Lieut. -Colonel Sulman. 
On November 22nd, the adjutant, Captain O. C. White- 
man was killed on the way up to the front. He was 
walking up with Major Ford, the second in command, a 
few minutes before the battalion arrived, and finding 
that one part of the track was being persistently shelled, 
they took refuge behind a " pill-box," intending to wait 
for the next shell and then dash across the dangerous spot. 
Unfortunately the next shell fell just over the " pill-box " 
and Whiteman was killed at once. 

An incident that was marked with better luck will serve 
to round off the narrative of the campaign. " In the 
Houthulst Forest sector on the night of November 24th- 
25th, 1917, Private T. Wright was accompanying his 
platoon officer who was visiting his front line posts, when 
an enemy patrol was seen approaching. The officer and 
Private Wright, who were in No Man's Land at the time, 
allowed the patrol to get close to the post, and then placed 
themselves between the patrol and the enemy's lines and 
called upon the patrol to surrender. 

" The patrol, consisting of an officer and a corporal, 
attempted to get away, but were prevented from doing 
so by Private Wright, who shot the German officer in the 
thigh and then knocked down the corporal, who offered 
considerable resistance, and, moreover, was a strong 
opponent, standing at least six feet one in height, and 
strongly built. The two were made prisoners and valu- 
able documents and other information was obtained from 
them." Such is the official account of the incident which 
gained for Private Wright the Military Medal. 

But by this time the other project to which Sir Douglas 
Haig had referred in his despatch as the chief reason for 
maintaining the pressure on the Flanders' front had seen 
fulfilment. At Cambrai the troops had gone through the 
German line, and, attaining complete surprise, had secured 
a remarkable success. 



CHAPTER XI 



THE BATTLE OF CAMBRAI 



At 6.20 a.m. on November 20th the Battle of Cambrai 
began, the troops moving forward without any previous 
artillery bombardment, on a front of six miles from the 
east of Gonnelieu to the Canal du Nord, opposite Hermies. 
Three battalions of the Royal Fusiliers were included in 
the attacking divisions ; and it may be said, with due 
reserve, that they and other Fusilier units who were 
involved before the operations died down in December 
won for themselves undying honour. 

Noyelles. — The second battalion began to move up 
to the area in the second week of November. On the 
18th they lay at Peronne. The following day they 
reached Equancourt, some 8,000 yards from the nearest 
point of the British front line. They advanced to Dead 
Man's Corner, marching through Fins and Queen's Cross, 
and were in assembly positions on the right rear of the 
16th Middlesex at 5.20 a.m. on the 20th. An hour later 
they began to move up, in diamond formation, W Company 
being in front, X and Y on the right and left rear respec- 
tively, and Z in support. They marched on a bearing of 
40 degrees until the original front line was reached, when 
they halted in front of Plough Support. At 10.20 a.m. 
they resumed the advance on the same line of bearing 
until they passed through the 6th Division, who had cap- 
tured and were holding the Hindenburg line. Shortly 
afterwards they came under heavy machine-gun fire and 
extended, continuing the advance in two waves, with the 
support of numerous tanks. This was the period of the 
general movement towards the final objective, and the 
resistance which had been inappreciable in the earliest 



206 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

stages was now, in places, very obstinate. At the out- 
skirts of Marcoing several Germans ran forward and gave 
themselves up ; but at the cross-roads the advance was 
temporarily held up by machine-gun fire and a small 
amount of rifle fire. However tanks reduced all obstacles, 
and the battalion went forward again. Second Lieu- 
tenant Burton was killed in the approach to Marcoing, 
and Captain Learning and Second Lieutenant Piper were 
wounded. Two platoons, under Captain Griffiths, went 
through the village, and, after some brisk street fighting, 
captured about ioo prisoners and some machine guns. 

In the approach to Noyelles the enemy's fire was once 
more experienced, the resistance on the Marcoing road 
being very stubborn. But this was overcome and the 
battalion reached their final objective at 3.15 p.m. and 
dug in. A patrol of W Company at once pushed forward 
to secure the bridge over the canal, north-east of Noyelles ; 
but the intermediate bridge over the Scheldt, on the 
Noyelles-Cambrai road, had been blown up, and the canal 
bridge could not be reached. The wooden bridge over the 
river farther south had been blown up within sight of a 
scouting party. Z Company went forward to hold the 
village and link up with the post beyond the cemetery, on 
the north-western outskirts of the village. X dug in 
between the River Scheldt and the canal, making two 
strong points, one facing eastward and the other towards 
the north, as a protection to the right flank, which was in 
the air. Z Company promptly put the village in a state 
of defence. A patrol of the 4th Dragoons, who had come 
up a little after 4 p.m., were posted on the northern out- 
skirts of the village. The blown-up Scheldt bridge was 
seized and held ; and also the wooden one still intact in 
the grounds of the Chateau, on the east of the village. So 
the battalion lay that night. A German patrol was beaten 
off by Lewis-gun and rifle fire. Not three miles away was 
Cambrai. In front of them across the Scheldt Canal was 
the enemy's Marcoing line. Behind them lay a greater 
depth of country than had ever before been covered in 



1HE SECOND BATTALION AT NOYELLES 207 

one day's advance ; and the success had been achieved 
with much less loss than had almost invariably accom- 
panied the fierce battles in which the battalion had taken 
part. 

The following day, November 21st, appeared like a 
reversion to type. By some oversight the outskirts of the 
village had been abandoned early in the morning by the 
Dragoons before the relief troops arrived. As a conse- 
quence, when the enemy counter-attacked about 7.30 a.m. 
they secured an immediate success, and the eastern end 
of the village was overrun up to the church. There a 
machine gun was established, and throughout the day a 
bitter struggle took place. Second Lieutenant Peel very 
gallantly destroyed two German machine guns in this 
phase of the fighting and Second Lieutenant R. L. Sparks 
was killed. The 18th Hussars, who were now in the 
village, were involved in this fighting, and little headway 
was made until about 4 p.m., when the two tanks Ben 
Mychree and Buluwayo II. came up. These, advancing 
with moppers-up of the 2nd Battalion and the 18th 
Hussars, cleared the village, which was handed over to 
C Company of the 1st Buffs, who relieved the Royal Fusi- 
liers. This phase of the battle had not been bloodless, 
but the 2nd Battalion had the satisfaction of handing over 
intact the position which they had won at first. They 
had captured 400 prisoners, two light and ten heavy 
machine guns and three granatenwerfer. The battalion 
billeted in Marcoing, where General de Lisle called to con- 
gratulate them. The Mayor visited brigade headquarters 
and thanked Captain Hood and the men who had fought 
in Noyelles. 

Meanwhile, on the southern flank of the advance the 8th 
and 9th Battalions had also advanced successfully. The 
8th formed up north and the 9th * south of the Cambrai 

* The 9th Battalion had been commanded since July 3rd by a very 
remarkable officer. Lieut. -Colonel W. V. L. van Someren, D.S.O., 
M.C., was reading for the Bar when war broke out, and, joining the 
Inns of Court O.T.C. in August, 19T4, he went out to France with the 
9th Royal Fusiliers as the junior subaltern. He was only twenty -oae 



208 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

road in the Gonnelieu Trenches, in the rear of sections of 
the Tank Corps. A certain amount of machine-gun fire 
was encountered ; but both battalions captured all objec- 
tives. Barrier Trench, south of la Vacquerie, was taken ; 
Sonnet Farm was cleared, and also parts of the Hinden- 
burg front and support line. The 8th captured 35 pri- 
soners and two machine guns for a total casualty list of 
22, including Second Lieutenant Symonds and 15 other 
ranks killed. The 9th Battalion lost 94 all told, including 
Captain A. Greathead and Lieutenant G. Hall, M.C., 
Second Lieutenant E. C. Butterworth died of wounds 
later. At 10 p.m. that night the 9th moved up and 
relieved the 7th East Surreys in the front line of the defen- 
sive flank between Bleak House and Bonavis Farm, and 
held this position during the night. The 8th Battalion 
relieved the 9th on November 22nd, and two days later 
carried out a local attack on Pelican Trench towards 
Banteux, in conjunction with the 35th Brigade. They 
attacked at 8 a.m. In seventeen minutes they had secured 
their objectives, and within fifteen minutes were heavily 
counter-attacked. There had been no time to consolidate 
and 400 yards of Pelican Trench between B and D Com- 
panies were lost. Bombing blocks were established in 
the rear of the section of trench lost and the positions were 
handed over on the following day to the 7th Royal Sussex. 
In this brisk little engagement the battalion lost 58, in- 
cluding Second Lieutenant Reed killed, and they took 28 
prisoners. 

Tadpole Copse.— The Londons had by this time 
entered the battle. On November 20th they had co- 
operated with the main assault by a Chinese attack, but 
now they were to take their share in the actual fighting. 
The early successes of the advance had been at once too 
little and too great. If they had carried the troops no 

years of age when he took over the command of the battalion, 
and must have been one of the youngest, if not actually the youngest, 
of commanding officers. He retained command of the unit until it was 
disbanded in June, 1919, and was in charge of the 36th Brigade for the 
two weeks'preceding the Armistice. 



ACTION AT BULLECOURT, NOVEMBER 2oth 209 

further than Flesquieres ridge, a position would have been 
gained which was possible to hold without undue risk. 
But the line had been flung out to the north well beyond 
the ridge, and this ground could not be held unless the 
Bourlon ridge which commanded it was also in our posses- 
sion, except at excessive cost. On the west of the ridge 
the 56th Division was involved. Tadpole Copse, lying 
about 1,000 yards west of Mceuvres, formed " a command- 
ing tactical point in the Hindenburg line . . . the posses- 
sion of which would be of value in connection with the 
left flank of the Bourlon position." * It was stormed on 
the evening of the 22nd by the Queen's Westminsters. The 
trenches in advance of the copse were retaken by the 
enemy on the 24th ; and at 1 p.m. on the 25th bombers 
of the 4th Londons, with the Rangers, attacked and re- 
captured the trenches. A patrol of D Company under 
Captain A. M. Duthie pushed forward and captured three 
machine guns. Late at night the Germans attempted to 
rush one of the battalion's bombing blocks, but they were 
beaten off. The 2nd Londons on the left of the position 
spent several days beating off the intermittent German 
attacks. Constant vigilance was necessary and, it may be 
added, was forthcoming. On the Lagnicourt sector a 
patrol of the 1st Londons distinguished themselves on the 
night of the 22nd. Second Lieutenant Long and three 
men of A Company crossed to the enemy wire, passed 
through and lay in a German outpost trench until a hostile 
patrol, sent out to examine their own wire, passed them. 
The Londons allowed them to pass and then surrounded 
and captured the two Germans. 

Bullecourt. — In the subsidiary attack about Bulle- 
court the 4th Royal Fusiliers were cast for the role of maid- 
of-all-work. They had to be prepared to support the 
Connaught Rangers (16th Division) on their left ; a com- 
pany was lent to the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, and 
another to the 12th West Yorks. They held the remainder 
of the 9th Brigade front on the flanks of the battle front, 

* Despatch. 
f. P 



210 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

holding 300 yards of the 16th Division sector. During 
the night work was begun on a communication trench to- 
wards the left of the objective, and a post was dug in 
advance of the line and made defensible before zero. Four 
platoons advanced at a minute after zero (6.20 a.m.) and 
began their work of establishing posts between the old 
front line and the objective. A listening post was encoun- 
tered by the right company, two of the enemy being made 
prisoners and the rest killed. With their aid, in a con- 
fused battle, the assaulting troops completed the work of 
the Spring Campaign by capturing the remainder of the 
Hindenburg support trench on this sector. Another 
spirited advance was made on November 25th, in which 
the 4th Battalion passed through the enemy wire without 
opposition, and took and consolidated the German first and 
second lines north-west of Bullecourt. Finding a German 
post unoccupied due north of the town, they seized it and 
worked along Bulldog Trench until held up by a block. 
Consolidation was at once carried out, and the positions 
were firmly held. 

The Counter-attack. — The 2nd Division had now 
come up to consolidate the new positions, and the four 
battalions of Royal Fusiliers were disposed about Bourlon 
Wood. But already it was evident that the Germans did 
not intend to admit the finality of the British success. The 
increased registration of hostile artillery, the movements 
of troops and transport behind the German lines, pointed 
to the imminence of a counter-attack. The ground 
gained in the Battle of Cambrai made a distinct salient in 
the German lines, and the German activity embraced not 
only the front affected by the advance, but extended as far 
as Vendhuile. When the German advance began it was 
directed upon converging lines against the northern and 
southern faces of the salient. 

On the latter sector the 8th and 9th Battalions felt the full 
shock of the German assault. The 8th, on the left, lay east 
of La Vacquerie, and the 9th, on the right, lay in trenches 
south of the Gouzeaucourt-Cambrai road. At 6.45 a.m. 



THE COUNTER-ATTACK, NOVEMBER 30TH 211 

on November 30th an intense artillery bombardment began, 
and at 7.40 infantry attacks developed. Almost imme- 
diately the resistance of the 35th Brigade and part of the 
55th Division on the right of the 9th Battalion was over- 
come, and C Company was forced to withdraw, taking up 
a position astride the Cambrai road. The Germans 
advanced down the Hindenburg front line after the troops 
of the 35th Brigade to the brigade headquarters. B Com- 
pany at once delivered a counter-attack over the open, 
forced back the Germans 200 yards, when bombing blocks 
were made in all the trenches and the position was held 
firmly. D Company, on the left, were surrounded, and 
most of them became casualties. Only 1 officer and 
13 other ranks succeeded in fighting their way back 
to the main body of the battalion. Contact was made on 
this flank with the 8th Battalion, who had taken up the 
trench near the road running vid Good Old Man Farm to 
Ribecourt ; but the right flank was still in the air until 
10 a.m., when the 7th Royal Sussex manned the reserve 
line immediately in the rear of the battalion, and this 
position was connected with that of the 9th Battalion. 
Throughout the day bombing encounters continued. 
Neither water nor rations could be obtained. German 
aeroplanes flying only about 50 feet above them harassed 
them continually with machine-gun fire, despite the 
attempts of Lewis guns and rifles to drive them off. Yet, 
with the help of about half a company of the 7th Norfolks, 
they held to their positions. 

The 8th Battalion, on the left, had gone through a 
similar ordeal. The Germans, who had broken through 
on the south, appeared in great strength on the right rear 
of the front line companies, who, in a few minutes, were 
completely cut off. Some 12 men only fought their way 
back to the reserve line. D Company went up to support 
and were overwhelmed and fell back, fighting, to the 
reserve line where the Battalion headquarters were estab- 
lished. The Germans were only 50 yards from the reserve 
line when the Commanding Officer, Lieut-Colonel N. B. 

p 2 



212 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Elliott-Cooper, D.S.O., M.C., collected all available men 
of battalion headquarters and C and D Companies, about 
120 in all, and led them in a counter-attack. The position 
was critical, but Colonel Elliott-Cooper's forlorn hope 
achieved an immediate success. The small body went 
forward cheering ; the Germans wavered and were then 
driven back over the Cambrai road. But there heavy 
machine-gun fire was encountered. Elliott-Cooper him- 
self fell. All the officers became casualties ; and, seeing 
the impossibility of maintaining and consolidating the 
position, he ordered the withdrawal. He was only 29 
years of age, and by this order he deliberately accepted 
the bitter fate of falling into the hands of the Germans. 
His advance had been daring and resolute. His order for 
the withdrawal was marked by high courage and selfless- 
ness. He deserved, as he received, the Victoria Cross ; 
but, unfortunately, he died a prisoner in Germany. 

The survivors fell back as they were ordered and with- 
drew to the reserve line. The German advance was 
checked in this quarter, and, with the 37th Brigade on the 
left and the 9th Battalion on the right, the new line was 
established. All enemy attacks were beaten off. The 8th 
lost 10 officers and 247 men. The 9th had lost 13 officers, 
including Lieutenant H. Reeve, Second Lieutenants 
Levi, Wason and Disney, killed, and 208 other ranks. 

There was no further attack that night. But at 7 a.m. 
on the morning of December 1st the Germans attempted 
to cross the Cambrai road on the front of the 9th Battalion, 
towards La Vacquerie. They were repulsed by rifle and 
machine-gun fire ; and the attack was repeated seven times 
with the same result. At 12.30 p.m. the enemy opened a 
heavy bombardment and then began bombing attacks. 
These were beaten off until about 1 p.m., when the supply 
of bombs had completely given out. The battalion were 
forced to withdraw 150 yards to a point just north of the 
Cambrai road, where they held the enemy. These two 
battalions had fought an engagement in conditions that 
were not paralleled until the German offensive of March, 




Lieut.-Colonel N. B. Elliott-Cooper, V.C., D.S.O., M C, who won 

THE V.C. WHILE COMMANDING THE 8TH ROYAL FUSILIEKS AT THE 

Battle of Cambsai. 



EXPLOIT OF CAPTAIN GEE 213 

1918, and, never ceasing to be an ordered fighting force, 
had given ground only when no troops could possibly have 
held it. At the end they handed over an organised 
position to the relieving troops. The 9th Battalion were 
the only troops to retain their positions south of the 
Cambrai-Gouzeaucourt road for these two days, during 
which no rations reached them, and the supply of bombs 
completely failed. 

Les Rues Vertes. — The 2nd Battalion had come back 
into support on November 28th as counter-attack bat- 
talion ; and when the German assault began Y and Z 
Companies were lying about the sugar factory at Masnieres, 
W was in the quarry and X off the Cambrai road. Mas- 
nieres was heavily shelled from 2 to 5 a.m., and at 6.15 
the battalion stood to arms. At 7 a.m. the German 
attack from Crevecoeur made such rapid progress that the 
battery positions were taken in reverse, and the southern 
flank of Masnieres was uncovered. X and Z Companies 
were quickly brought across the canal by the lock bridge 
near the sugar factory to form a defensive flank as far as 
the old Brigade rear headquarters in Les Rues Vertes, while 
two platoons of X Company were sent to help in the street 
fighting. For the Germans had not only penetrated the 
suburb, but had even captured the ammunition dump. 
The troops in point of fact were called upon to defend a 
position which virtually had already been lost. 

Into this picture it is difficult to fit the achievement 
of Captain Gee, who won the Victoria Cross for multiplied 
acts of daring that seem, on calm reflection, to outshine 
the inventions of writers of fiction. At 8.50 a.m. the 
position in Les Rues Vertes seemed to be lost ; and the 
amazing thing is that it was not abandoned. No one 
exactly knew where the Germans were, but they appeared 
to be everywhere and certainly in the most inconvenient 
places. Captain Gee, who was then at brigade head- 
quarters, was ordered by telephone to form a defensive 
flank with servants and headquarters details. He at once 
sent Captain Loseby with 6 men to get into touch with 



214 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the right flank. Taking 4 signallers and 2 orderlies with 
him, he then set out to get a grip of the situation. But at 
the first corner firing was heard. A little further on the 
Germans could be seen. With four of the men he opened 
fire, while the other two seized whatever came first — 
tables, chairs, etc. — to form a barricade. The enemy were 
held off for about five minutes, and then a Lewis gun came 
up, and there was time to breathe. The second house 
beyond the barricade was the Brigade ammunition dump, 
full of small arm ammunition, bombs, etc., and Captain Gee 
determined to get to it. He knocked a hole through the 
wall of a house on his own side of the barricade and crawled 
through to the first dump, only to find both dump men 
dead and the quartermaster-sergeant missing. He then 
climbed a wall to the bomb store and was immediately 
seized by two German sentries. 

He had a bayonet stick with him and a revolver, but he 
could not reach the latter, and in the struggle he killed 
one of the sentries with the stick while an orderly shot the 
other. He got back to the road again with a better 
realisation of the desperate nature of the crisis. Some 
30 or 40 men had now arrived. Half of them were sent 
to Captain Loseby, others were set to the task of building 
another barricade ; and, with the six remaining, he recap- 
tured the bomb store and cleared three houses. Two 
companies of Guernsey Light Infantry now arrived from 
brigade headquarters. These were sent to the uncovered 
flank, posts were established on the three bridges across 
the canal, and a strong company were sent to the out- 
skirts of the village with orders to build a barricade and 
link up on the left. 

After this a bombing party were organised to set about 
clearing the houses on the Marcoing road. At this point 
the Germans' nerves appeared to wear thin, and they ran 
from house to house as the bombers got to work. Captain 
Gee, seeing that this part of his task appeared to be 
approaching completion, began to attend to the supply of 
ammunition and bombs to the troops across the canal and 







Captain R. Gee, V.C., M.P., who won the V.C. at the Battle 

of Cambrai. 



SECOND BATTALION'S FINE DEFENCE 215 

at the bridges. He then worked up to the chateau and 
through a hole in the wall into the brewery yard. The 
Germans had already left ; and it was evident that when 
the houses on the other side of the Marcoing road were 
cleared, the village would again be in our possession. 
This task was handed on to a small party, and Captain Gee 
went up to the roof of the chateau to take stock of the 
position. The Germans were seen to be digging in about 
100 yards clear of the village. He at once got a supply of 
bombs, and with the help of another orderly he put the 
machine-gun team out of action and captured the gun. 
Another machine gun was in the house near the Crucifix. 
A Stokes gun was ordered up, and Captain Gee now saw 
that there were posts all round the suburbs. 

At the end of the village the men were still being troubled 
by a machine gun, and there were also numerous snipers 
at large. For a moment he had to take refuge in a shell- 
hole ; but it was necessary to order up a Stokes gun before 
dark to deal with the machine gun, which was situated in a 
corner house. So he made a dash for the barricade, 
reaching it across the open in safety, but was caught in the 
knee by a sniper as he jumped the barricade. He had had 
four orderlies shot at his side, had been a prisoner for a 
few minutes and had come through almost unprecedented 
risks. He wished now to carry on, but was ordered back 
to have his wound dressed. 

Meanwhile part of the open flank had been held stead- 
fastly by the 2nd Battalion. At 2 p.m. Captain Lathom 
Browne, with two platoons of W Company and the re- 
maining platoon of X, took over the defences of Les Rues 
Vertes. The remaining platoon of W Company, under 
Second Lieutenant Brain, was sent to the sugar factory to 
hold the lock bridge. To these positions the troops held 
firmly. At 6 p.m. warning orders were issued in case the 
Brigade had to evacuate the area ; but, later in the 
evening, congratulations and orders to hold on to the end 
were received from army headquarters. 

At six o'clock the next morning a heavy hostile barrage 



2i6 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

was put down and a counter-attack followed. The enemy 
were beaten off by machine-gun and rifle fire. At 4 p.m. 
the enemy attacked in great force once more. On this 
occasion the advanced posts were driven in and the 
Germans entered the village. They were checked ; but 
it was clear that the thin line of weary men could not 
hold out indefinitely in so precarious a position. At 
7.30 p.m. the order to evacuate Masnieres and Les Rues 
Vertes arrived ; and at 11.15 the withdrawal began. 
In exactly an hour from the beginning of the retire- 
ment the last post at the sugar factory moved away. 
In small parties the battalion moved off westward, crossed 
the canal near Marcoing, and thence marched south of the 
Villers Plouich road to the Hindenburg support line, 
about 500 yards east of the Bois Couillet. At this point 
the battalion found their cookers and blankets. They 
were very weary ; but they had steadfastly held to their 
positions in a time when the front line was like a leaky 
dam ; and their defence must be accounted one of the 
great episodes in the battle. 

Bourlon. — But it was in the Bourlon area that the 
main attack was delivered some two hours after the 
assault was made in the south. The density of the attack 
was extraordinary. Against the three divisions in line, 
the 56th, 2nd and 47th, four German divisions were 
directed with three more in support. From high ground 
within the salient, officers could see through their glasses 
the enemy advance, and the area seemed to be packed 
with men. The 2nd Division had taken over the section 
of the line between Bourlon Wood and Mceuvres. In the 
front line, lying between the 1st Royal Berks on the right 
and the 1st King's Royal Rifle Corps on the left, were the 
17th Royal Fusiliers. At the opening of the battle they 
were holding a long trench (the " Rat's Tail "), which ran, 
almost at right angles from the main British line, 1,000 
yards to a point overlooking the enemy's position. B 
Company, under Captain Walter Napoleon Stone, were 
occupying the sector nearest the German front line when 





C/) CTJ 

* B 

- 3 

< o 



X r ; ~ 



(^ 



„ 


^ 


c 


w 


~ 


ro 


Z 


~- 


>* 


o 




<u 


H T3 


43 


CD 


0) 


S 








fc 


OJO 


> 

o 


£ 


O 




£ 


£ 










< 
<) 


t/T 

w 





U J 



CAPTAIN STONE'S HEROISM 217 

the attack began ; and he was ordered to withdraw his 
company to the main line, leaving a rearguard to cover 
the retirement, as the position was judged to be too 
exposed. Captain Stone sent back three platoons, but, 
with Lieutenant Benzecry, remained behind with the 
rearguard. The action of this rearguard, under their 
inspiring leader, stands out remarkable in a day of extra- 
ordinary exploits. With bayonet, bullet and bomb, they 
held off the whole of the German attack until the main 
position of the battalion was fully organised, and they 
died to a man with their faces to the enemy. 

Captain Stone's behaviour will never be forgotten while 
heroic deeds continue to inspire. The attack had deve- 
loped against him and his small rearguard with un- 
expected speed, owing to the enemy being concealed in 
some dead ground. He stood on the parapet with the 
telephone, under a tremendous bombardment and hail of 
bullets, closely observing the enemy, and sending back 
valuable information. When last seen, the enemy had 
closed in upon the little band. Stone was seen fighting 
to the last, until he was shot through the head. The 
extraordinary coolness of this officer, and the accuracy of 
his information, enabled dispositions to be made just in 
time to save the line from disaster. In the official account 
of this incident, published at the beginning of the year 
1918, Captain Stone's action is described "as a devoted 
example of the greatest of all sacrifices." He was granted 
the Victoria Cross. This was the third to be won by the 
Royal Fusiliers on the same day. 

At 1 p.m. the 17th Battalion reorganised their line. The 
two advanced companies in the " Rat's Tail " had been 
withdrawn to the main line ; but C still retained two 
blocks beyond it, and these were held throughout the day. 
Their line was intact. Their positions were closely linked 
up with the units on the right and left ; and the men 
" were really enjoying the experience of killing Germans 
in large numbers at point-blank range." * 

* Official account. 



218 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Early in the afternoon a very heavy attack was deli- 
vered on a front a mile west of Bourlon Wood. This was 
beaten off except on the extreme right of the 2nd Division, 
where the ist Royal Berks lay on the right of the 17th 
Royal Fusiliers. Three posts were there lost, and a gap 
was formed at the same time between two battalions of 
the 47th Division. A company of the 23rd Royal 
Fusiliers were sent up, and, by a sharp counter-attack, 
re-established the Royal Berks' line. Another company 
assisted the 17th Battalion later in the day ; and at 10 p.m. 
the battalion were relieved by the 24th Royal Fusi- 
liers. The strength of the 17th Battalion on leaving the 
line was 20 officers and 351 other ranks. 

The 22nd Battalion relieved the 13th Essex with two 
companies and the Highland Light Infantry with one 
company on the night of December ist. The 13th Essex, 
on the left of the 2nd Division, had been heavily engaged 
on November 30th, but the 22nd Battalion's tour of the 
trenches was comparatively uneventful, except for a 
bombing attack on December 3rd, which was beaten off 
after half an hour's brisk fighting ; and on the 5th the 
battalion were withdrawn to support in the old British 
line east of Hermies. 

On the night of December 4th the 24th Battalion 
evacuated their positions according to orders ; and on the 
following day, when the Germans began to make their 
way cautiously forward, they did considerable execution 
on them. On December 6th, at 6.15 a.m., the enemy 
attacked one of the battalion's bombing posts about 100 
yards south of the Bapaume-Cambrai road. For about 
half an hour the Lewis gunners and bombers fought at 
close quarters, causing the Germans considerable damage. 
The defence rallied round the cool action of Sergeants A. F. 
Wood, E. Tarleton and Lance-Corporal G. Day, and the 
enemy were driven off. These three men were awarded 
the Military Medal for their skill and courage. A little 
later the enemy penetrated through a gap in the lines into 
the village of Graincourt. Sergeant D. McCabe was sent 



WITHDRAWAL AT CAMBRAI 219 

out, with a patrol of two men, down the sunken road on 
the east of the village. By skilful and daring handling 
of his patrol, McCabe located the position of the enemy 
and inflicted heavy casualties upon them. McCabe also 
was awarded the Military Medal. 

Another evacuation, the final one, was carried out on 
the night of the 6th, and by the early hours of 
December 7th the troops had successfully reached the new 
positions. The 17th Battalion had taken up positions in 
front of Lock 7, on the canal, on December 4th. At that 
time the guns were passing through them and dug-outs 
were being destroyed preparatory to the first stage of the 
withdrawal. Two days later the rearguards were with- 
drawn in front of the advancing Germans. At 1 a.m. on 
December 7th the battalion were ordered to establish 
three posts roughly 500 yards in front of the line, to be 
held at all costs. But it was impossible to site them in the 
darkness, and they were not established until dawn. On 
the following day the battalion were in touch with advance 
parties of the enemy. Corporals Whitson and Lowry 
made a gallant attempt to capture seven Germans, but 
they were unable to sprint fast enough ! Intermittent 
bombing engagements took place during the whole of the 
day, and the Germans began to register on the front line. 
Shelling continued during the night, and the following day 
they were repeatedly attacked. They were holding at 
this time 2,000 yards of the front line ; and when they 
were relieved on the night of the 9th they were thoroughly 
exhausted. But by this time the fighting had died down. 
The positions remained substantially the same for some 
months until the German offensive began. 



CHAPTER XII 



INTERLUDE 



The period which filled the interval between the Battle 
of Cambrai and the German attack on March 21st, 1918, 
marked a change in the general outlook which had its 
influence on the character of the training and daily 
routine. The High Command issued in December orders 
" having for their object immediate preparation to meet a 
strong and sustained hostile offensive. In other words a 
defensive policy was adopted. . . . "* 

In any case the winter imposed a truce on the armies, 
though it was impossible, in the earlier part of the period, 
to rule out the possibility of further operations on the 
Italian front, and several British divisions were sent 
thither. Included in this force were the 41st Division 
with their two Fusilier battalions. 

But the lines were never quite at rest. Raids and 
counter-raids took place intermittently even on the quiet 
sectors. One incident that deserves mention is the German 
raid on the extreme left of the 17th Battalion's front. 
They were stationed on July 24th, 1917, in the canal sector, 
the training ground of numerous units, when a German 
patrol of about nine men suddenly fell upon three men hold- 
ing a post in East Surrey Crater. A desperate struggle took 
place. One of the men contrived to make his escape and 
warned the front line. The other two were wounded, 
and the Germans dragged them back towards their front 
line. But the wounded men, finding the prospect uncon- 
genial, kept their wits about them, and one of them 
suddenly broke away, and although wounded in five or 
six places, braved our own Lewis guns, which had opened 

* Despatch. 



WINTER RAIDS, 1917— 18 221 

fire, and regained our lines. One German was left dead 
in the crater, and in this way both sides secured identifi- 
cations at equal cost. 

Another raid upon the same battalion, but in the 
Cambrai sector, had also a slightly paradoxical result. 
On December 21st some 30 Germans suddenly raided the 
battalion front at 10 o'clock in the morning. They were 
beaten off with ease by D Company, as the enemy 
obligingly forgot to pull the strings of their bombs before 
throwing them. A prisoner was taken and an interesting 
trophy secured. This was one of the new automatic 
pistols, which held 32 rounds in its magazine. The 
17th determined to return the compliment, and on the 
following day a fighting patrol went out. But suddenly 
the fog lifted, and modesty suggested a prompt retirement. 

A more important and useful raid took place almost on 
the eve of the German offensive. Second Lieutenant Fish 
and 17 other ranks entered the German lines on the night 
of March 18th, 1918. The previous day much movement 
had been observed in the opposite lines, and it was desirable 
to know the state of the trench garrisons and to secure 
identifications. Entering the German trenches opposite 
Anchor Sap, the small patrol killed 8 or 10 Germans, 
brought back three shoulder straps, secured useful 
information as to the defence system and returned with 
only one casualty. For this excellent little action the 
battalion received the congratulations of all the brigades 
and of the 2nd Division. 

Both the 13th and the 10th Battalions figured in a more 
serious operation which took place on March 8th, 1918. 
On this day the 13th Battalion were in the front line 
astride the Menin road, with the 13th King's Royal Rifle 
Corps on their left, when they were warned by the brigade 
that the enemy intended to attack during the night to 
capture the high ground north-west of Gheluvelt, which 
had been won by a great outpouring of blood in the summer 
and autumn offensive of 1917. The companies were 
warned, and a preparatory bombardment was fired at 



222 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

dawn, but without provoking a reply. At 6.30 a.m. the 
Germans opened a bombardment, which grew fiercer after 
9.30 a.m. and continued with a short break at 1 o'clock 
until about 5 p.m. North of the Menin road the shelling 
was very severe, and the S.O.S. was sent up by the bat- 
talion on the left. The counter-barrage came down on 
the whole sector within two minutes. On the front of 
the 13th Battalion no attack developed ; but the bom- 
bardment had caused heavy casualties in No. 3 Company, 
north of the road, and at 6.30 p.m. Sergeant A. Clark sent 
back a message, " Please send as many stretcher-bearers 
as possible. Only few men left to carry on. Two officers 
killed, two wounded. Please send reinforcements as soon as 
possible. ' ' Clark, in the meantime, took over the command 
of the company, re-disposed the men under heavy shell 
and trench-mortar fire, until such time as reinforcements 
could be sent, thereby denying to the enemy an attempted 
lodgment in our front line posts. Clark received the 
Military Medal for his behaviour on this occasion. A 
platoon of No. 2 Company was at once sent forward, and 
platoons of No. 4 followed afterwards under Second 
Lieutenant H. J. Rowland, and the line was held intact. 
Captain F. W. Bower and Second Lieutenant W. Hender- 
son were killed on this occasion ; five officers were wounded, 
and there were 140 other ranks casualties. 

Meanwhile, on the left, the 10th Battalion had become 
involved. They were in support at the beginning of the 
battle, but at 2 p.m., after a heavy bombardment, the 
Germans attacked the 13th King's Royal Rifle Corps, and 
D Company were sent up as reinforcements. The 
Germans attacked in great force, and, after a severe 
struggle, penetrated the British positions. The desperate 
situation which resulted provided Lance-Corporal Charles 
Graham Robertson, M.M., of D Company, with an oppor- 
tunity for an action calling as much on his skill as his 
heroism. He was in charge of a machine gun, and, rinding 
the Germans had almost cut him off, he sent back two men 
for reinforcements. Meanwhile, with one man, he remained 



ACTION OF MARCH 8th, 1918 223 

at his post, and inflicted heavy loss with his gun until he 
was completely cut off. No help arrived, and he with- 
drew about 10 yards, and there stood again, pouring a 
sustained fire into the enemy. The two men were at 
length compelled to evacuate the position, and they fell 
back upon a defended post. The Germans continued to 
press forward in great numbers, and Robertson mounted 
the parapet with his comrade, and, fixing his gun in a 
shell-hole, resumed his task of shooting down the Germans 
who were pouring down and across the top of an adjoining 
trench. The value of Robertson's resolute and skilful 
defence can hardly be exaggerated. His comrade was 
killed ; he himself was severely wounded. But he worked 
his gun until his ammunition was exhausted, and then he 
managed to crawl back, bringing the gun with him. He 
was awarded the V.C. 

At 7.15 the Germans had broken into the line, and B Com- 
pany were sent up. Lieut. -Colonel Waters now took over 
the command of the brigade sector. Communications with 
brigade headquarters had been cut. The 13th Rifles had 
lost heavily, and the Germans had established themselves, 
with machine guns, in our lines. Second Lieutenants 
Dexter and Scott, of the Fusiliers, made several journeys 
to the front under a most severe fire with 20 men from 
13th K.R.R.C. headquarters and carried up 2,360 bombs. 
When darkness fell the Germans had secured a small part 
of the British positions, but were firmly established there. 
During the night three counter-attacks were launched. 
B Company attacked first and failed through lack of 
bombs. A and B Companies then advanced and suc- 
ceeded in establishing a strong point, but were unable to 
press the attack further. On the third attack a complete 
success was achieved, the enemy were driven back and 
the position was re-established. The 10th had lost 
heavily in the operations, but not so heavily as the 13th 
Battalion. Second Lieutenants H. C. B. Sandall and 
W. G. Crook were killed, five officers were wounded, and 
there were 61 other ranks casualties. Later in the day 



224 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

(March 9th) a divisional wire was received : " The Corps 
Commander wishes to congratulate the division, and 
especially the two battalions concerned, for their success- 
ful defence in last night's attack." Lieut .-Colonel Waters 
and Captain Bainbridge received the D.S.O., Captain 
Tanner and Second Lieutenant Edington the M.C., and 
Captain Penfold a bar to the M.C., for these operations, 
with the congratulations of the Corps, Divisional and 

Brigade Commanders. 

* * * * 

The 7th Battalion on December 21st performed an 
exploit which seems almost incredible. They were rest- 
ing and refitting in the north when Lieut. -Colonel C. Play- 
fair succumbed to the stress and strain of the Ypres opera- 
tions and had to go to hospital. Major A. E. Gallagher, 
D.S.O., took over command on the 2nd until two days 
later, when Major E. G. L'Estrange Malone rejoined from 
divisional headquarters. On December 9th they left the 
area and a week later relieved the 9th Royal Irish Fusi- 
liers on Welsh Ridge, in the salient south of Marcoing. On 
the 21st a message was received from brigade head- 
quarters asking that every endeavour should be made to 
secure a prisoner for identification purposes. It was a 
bright moonlight night ; there was a white frost on the 
ground, and for 300 yards one could see clearly. It was 
therefore the very last kind of night for patrol activity. 
But Lance-Corporal T. Norris took out a patrol, and, dis- 
covering that the enemy were also desirous of securing a 
prisoner, decoyed them into the hands of a standing patrol 
under Corporal G. Collins. A prisoner was thus captured 
within three and a half hours of the request being re- 
ceived from the brigade. The Divisional and Brigade 
Commanders congratulated the battalion on their promp- 
titude, which was surely unique, and Lance-Corporal 
Norris secured the Military Medal. 

The battalion spent Christmas out of the trenches, but 
on December 27th they went back to the front line in time 
to receive a heavy Germanfattack. The position was 



GERMAN ATTACK ON SEVENTH BATTALION 225 

almost untenable. The trench was the former Hinden- 
burg support trench, and the wire was still standing west- 
ward. There were no communication trenches leading 
back to the support line, and the right of the line formed a 
sharp salient with a sap at one point to the German trench 
blocked by a pile of sandbags. At 8 a.m. on the morning 
of December 30th the Germans opened a furious barrage, 
chiefly enfilade, and then attacked over the snow in white 
suits. B, C and D Companies suffered heavily. D in the 
salient lost all their officers and most of the men either 
killed or captured. The men could not retire, even if they 
had wished to do so, because of the lack of communication 
trenches. The wire precluded a retirement over the open. 
Captain Davidson, the medical officer, and the whole of 
the aid post in D Company headquarters were captured. 
A counter-attack was delivered, and, though it failed, the 
Germans were held and the position was consolidated. On 
the following day the enemy put down a heavy barrage, and 
between twenty and thirty Germans were seen approaching 
the line. A sharp burst of Lewis-gun fire dispersed them, 
and the battalion were relieved later in the day. They had 
lost 9 officers (6 missing) and 244 other ranks. The bulk 
of the latter were missing. The 7th were now reduced 
to a trench strength of 11 officers and 167 other ranks, 
and when Lieut .-Colonel Malone returned from leave on 
January 13th he found his battalion amalgamated, tem- 
porarily, with the Artists Rifles. 

The 1st and 12th Royal Fusiliers had left the Ypres 
area in the third week of September ; and on the 25th 
found themselves at Vadencourt, near the Omignon River. 
On October 28th — 29th both battalions were in the front 
line when a patrol of the 1st were caught by a much 
heavier German patrol who attempted to surround them. 
But the Fusiliers retired behind their wire and inflicted 
heavy casualties. It was apparently the same German 
patrol which, a few hours later, ran into the " Day Posts ' 
of the 1 2th Battalion in Somerville Wood. They were 
driven off, leaving behind a German officer who provided 



226 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

a useful identification. Second Lieutenant Burch and 
Lance-Corporal J. Thompson were officially commended 
for their services on this occasion. The 12th Battalion 
were very active in patrolling at this time, and a letter 
from Major-General A. C. Daly, G.O.C. 24th Division, 
congratulated the battalion in striking terms : " Second 
Lieutenant Hills, of the 12th Royal Fusiliers, spends most 
of his time in No Man's Land, and has been doing excep- 
tionally good reconnaissance and patrol work ever since 
the division came into this bit of the line. He has gained 
valuable information several times. Another officer who 
always accompanies Second Lieutenant Hills is Second 
Lieutenant Mears-Devenish, also of the 12th Royal Fusi- 
liers." It was but natural that after this the patrols 
should be more active and venturesome than ever ; and 
on November 27th Lieutenant A. H. Lee, M.C., pro- 
ceeded along the Omignon River in daylight reconnoitring. 
Congratulations were received for this piece of work from 
the Brigade and Divisional Commanders. 

The 1st Battalion, while in divisional reserve at Ven- 
delles on December 16th, had the honour of being in- 
spected by Major-General W. B. Hickie, C.B. They had 
returned to the line on the Hervilly left subsector, with 
Major Hebden in command, when they were called upon 
to assist a raid of the Rifle Brigade. Their role consisted 
of making a demonstration to deceive the Germans as to 
where the raid was taking place. On the night of January 
19th, 1918, dummy figures were erected in front of the 
barbed wire, and at 6.45 the following morning the Rifle 
Brigade, on the right of the Fusiliers, raided the enemy 
trenches. The 1st Battalion assisted at the same time 
with intense Lewis-gun fire, and no doubt the three groups 
of dummy figures looked sufficiently impressive. The 
German artillery retaliated, but there were no casualties, 
and the episode seemed only an amusing interlude. 

On December nth the 4th Battalion relieved the 8th 
East Yorks in the Noreuil right subsector, very near the 
place where they had been engaged at the time of the battle 



SERVICE IN ITALY 227 

of Cambrai. The Pudsey support trench was lost the 
following day, and it was arranged that the 4th Royal 
Fusiliers should retake it and London support trench. 
But the Germans heavily bombarded the line immediately 
before the attack, and the venture proved a failure. W 
and Y Companies relieved the 12th West Yorks and 1st 
Northumberland Fusiliers in the front line and London 
support. Y and Z were placed under the orders of the 
13th King's Liverpools, and the latter company, holding 
a block in Pudsey support, succeeded in advancing it 150 
yards up the trench. But this useful little success proved 
to be a dubious advantage, for Second Lieutenant Goddard 
was killed on December 15th owing to our own artillery 
falling short into this support. In addition to this, there 
were 65 casualties among other ranks. 

Italy. — For two of the Fusilier Battalions the winter 
held a very pleasant experience. The 26th and 32nd 
Royal Fusiliers entrained in the second week of November 
for Italy. At Ventimiglia, where they crossed the Franco- 
Italian frontier, C and D Companies of the 26th Battalion 
marched through the town amid scenes which recall the 
reception of the British troops in France in August, 1914. 
The march became a sort of triumphal progress, and 
showers of carnations fell upon the men. Italy had 
recently suffered a very heavy defeat, and the troops had 
not yet shown that they could check the apparently 
irresistible advance of the enemy. It was this that made 
the appearance of the British troops so welcome to the 
Italians ; and the two Fusilier battalions, to the end of 
their stay in Italy, received the most cordial reception 
from the people. At Genoa the officers of C and D Com- 
panies of the 26th Battalion were welcomed in the wait- 
ing-room of the main station, though it was near midnight 
and they were in easy stages of undress. Barrels of wine 
were broached on the platform, and the companies departed 
flushed and happy. 

On November 19th the 26th Battalion began a series of 
forced marches from Cerlongo to the front. They marched 



228 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

in battle order with advance guards, and at night outposts 
were placed. During the seven days November 19th — 
25th inclusive, the battalion covered 141 kilometres with 
only one day's rest. On the 24th they made 32 kilo- 
metres over rough mountain roads. The billets were 
almost invariably poor on this march ; and it says much 
for the battalion that few men dropped out, though many 
were of short service. On December 1st the battalion 
reached Bavaria, south of the Montello, on the right rear 
of the brigade. 

Service in Italy was not very strenuous for either batta- 
lion. The Montello is a hog's-back hill which lies in the 
angle of the Piave where it turns south towards the coast. 
It falls sharply to the river with a shallow foreshore. 

The river in winter was rough and icy cold, with a swift 
current that constantly changed the landmarks in the 
shallows, and made cross river patrols precarious and well 
nigh impossible. Cover was plentiful on the Montello. 
Caves and dug-outs in the sides of the numerous hollows 
of the hill gave ample protection, with the river as a guard 
against surprise. But movement during the day was 
forbidden, and the night was turned into the normal day 
with its routine of meals, beginning at 6 p.m. A series of 
parallel roads cut the hill ; and the 26th held the left series 
between roads 3 and 5, with the 32nd on the right, guard- 
ing the Nervesa bridgehead. 

There were many patrols during the second tour of the 
front line trenches after the Christmas interlude, but the 
success was not proportioned to the amount of energy 
and willingness expended. The river proved too great a 
handicap. On January 18th the battalion were relieved, 
and a few days later moved by march route to the G.H.Q. 
training area at Padua, where life was easy and pleasant. 
Athletics formed part of the training, and a routine fea- 
ture was a run, in the afternoon, uphill to the Monastery 
and back. The battalion had only left Galzignano a few 
days when the news came that they were to return to 
France. At the beginning of March they left Italy, and 



DISBANDMENT OF BATTALIONS 229 

after a long train journey and a march arrived at Sous 
St. Leger, where the division was reorganised. 

The brigades lost one of their battalions ; and the 32nd 
Battalion Royal Fusiliers was disbanded, the personnel 
being amalgamated with that of the 26th Battalion. It 
was a fate which befell several other battalions of the Royal 
Fusiliers about this time. The 8th, who had fought so 
magnificently throughout the campaign, ceased to be in 
February. They had been closely and intimately asso- 
ciated with the 9th during their service in France, and 
their stand at Cambrai had been memorable. The 12th 
Battalion, who had been linked with the 1st for over two 
years in the 17th Brigade, also disappeared the same month. 
Parties of this battalion went to swell other Fusilier 
battalions : the 1st, 10th and nth. The 20th, the one 
remaining Public School battalion, received orders for 
disbandment on February 1st, and the personnel were 
divided between the 2nd, 4th and 13th Battalions. The 
22nd (Kensington) Battalion were disbanded by the 
Brigadier who had been the most popular and inspiring 
of their commanding officers, and the 23rd and 24th Batta- 
lions were strengthened accordingly. 

At the outbreak of the great German offensive in March, 
1918, there were only fifteen battalions of Royal Fusiliers 
apart from the battalions of the London Regiment. 



CHAPTER XIII 



THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE 



It is strange now, looking back on the past, how little 
people in England knew of the turn of events in the early 
part of the year 1918. Sir Douglas Haig had pointed out 
that the British Army definitely looked to the defensive ; 
but his despatches were not published until long after- 
wards, and the suggestions of a German offensive were 
almost as quickly denied in the English Press as they were 
expressed. At the front there was little ambiguity about 
the position. Towards the end of the second week in 
March the Germans apparently threw aside all attempts at 
concealment. Troop movements could be seen from the 
British lines, and German officers were observed a few 
days before the attack examining the British positions 
through their glasses. But, despite the knowledge of the 
staff and the open demonstration of the enemy, the 
attack burst over the line with remarkable suddenness and 
developed with unexpected speed. 

The Germans struck between the Oise and the Scarpe. 
At the moment when the blow fell the extreme right 
of the line was held by the 58th Division with the 
second line Londons, with the 18th Division on their 
left. This division also included a Royal Fusilier unit 
(nth Battalion), and thus the regiment were repre- 
sented in one of the critical sectors of the front by a 
number of battalions. Further north, almost in the 
centre of the Fifth Army front, lay the 24th Division, 
including the 1st Battalion. Within the Third Army 
area lay the 7th and 4th Battalions, the former being 
still in the Cambrai salient and the latter on the Cherisy- 
Fontaine sector. The 56th Division, with the first line 



POSITION OF ROYAL FUSILIER BATTALIONS 231 

Londons, lay north of the Scarpe, just beyond the main 
area of the German attack ; and there were other Fusilier 
battalions in reserve in the Third Army sector. The 2nd 
Division were near Rocquigny, and the 41st west of Albert. 
These two divisions included four Royal Fusilier units, 
all of whom became involved in the actions of the German 
offensive in Picardy. 

Of the other battalions of Royal Fusiliers who were in 
France at this moment, the 2nd, 10th, and 13th were in 
the Ypres sector when the attack began ; but the two last 
were involved in the aftermath of the Picardy offensive. 
The last remaining Royal Fusilier battalion, the 9th, took 
up station on the Ancre at a critical moment in the attack 
and did excellent service. 

To each of the battalions their own individual experi- 
ence was of paramount importance, and these were days 
when almost every hour held an episode of thrilling 
interest. But much of the experience was characteristic 
and typical rather than unique, and it is possible to form 
some picture of this phase of the righting in France from 

the detailed record of one or two battalions. 
* * * * 

The 7th Battalion, in the front line on Highland Ridge, 
experienced a German gas barrage on March nth. It 
began about 7 p.m. and continued until 4 a.m. the next 
day. During these hours there was a continuous whistle 
of shells which fell upon the support lines and battery posi- 
tions, exploding with a very slight noise. The wind being 
towards the German lines, the gas was carried back to the 
British front line, and the men had to wear their gas 
helmets for xour or five hours. At the point of exhaustion, 
they removed the helmets only to fall a prey sooner or 
later to the fumes rising from the ground. The barrage 
was also put down on the following night, when the batta- 
lion were to be relieved ; and, despite the risk, the arrange- 
ment for relief was confirmed. The men stumbled along 
through the gas. The night was dark, and the fumes of 
the explosions made it darker. The road was pitted with 



232 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

shell holes, and the men fell into them. Some, splashed 
by the contents of the shells, were burned on the arms and 
neck. Weary, bathed in perspiration, half stifled, they 
stumbled on through the gun positions to the train of open 
trucks, in which, as a sort of natural climax, they were 
kept waiting long enough in the biting air to encourage 
chills before being moved to the rest camp, five miles 
away. Coughs, sore throats, sore eyes, voices reduced to 
a whisper, were the portion of all ; but about 250 men 
had to be sent to hospital. The battalion went back to 
the Ribecourt right sector ; and, on the night of their 
return, 100 boys joined them. They had come from Eng- 
land and arrived after three days' travelling in trucks at 
1 a.m. on March 21st. They had never seen a trench and 
had no experience of actual war. 

March 21st. — At 4 a.m. the preliminary bombardment 
began. High explosive shells with trench mortars firing 
with extraordinary rapidity made a deafening noise. 
But the 7th Royal Fusiliers were incorrigibly cheerful. 
' Nothing to worry about " was the report from A Com- 
pany on the right . D reported a strange cloud approaching, 
and this was soon of the density of a London fog. B dis- 
covered that the Germans were attacking and had got 
into the trenches of the battalion on the left. B beat off 
the attack on their front by Lewis gun and rifle fire. The 
S.O.S. rocket was invisible in the smoke. A pigeon in- 
sisted on choosing the wrong direction. Runners at last 
got through, and the barrage came down in front of the 
front line. But the bombardment grew heavier and 
heavier. B Company had to withdraw on the uncover- 
ing of their flank. Captain K. Hawkins, M.C., the com- 
mander, was killed at the entrance to his headquarters. 
Captain J. Foster, M.C., was called up to battalion head- 
quarters to arrange a counter-attack with C Company. 
He was twice buried on the way up and knocked about by 
the debris of explosions, but eventually he arrived. The 
men from the left battalion began to drift in. The right 
battalion's line was pierced, and the men flowed into the 



THE TERRITORIALS' ORDEAL, MARCH 21ST 233 

Royal Fusiliers' trench. A Company was ordered to re- 
organise them and take the lost ground, and the situa- 
tion was restored. An officer's servant had taken charge 
on the left, and the line was organised and vigilant. At 
the end of the day the battalion had held their own and 
assisted to prop up a shaky position. 

But this was one of the bright spots in a disastrous day. 
The 4th Royal Fusiliers had been subjected to the same 
almost unbearable bombardment. The front line posts 
were lost in the attack which followed, but at 9.45 a.m. 
the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers had restored the brigade 
front. At 3.40 p.m. the Germans came on again. They 
were beaten off by machine-gun fire in the battle zone, but 
at 6.15 p.m. the battalion were ordered to retire to Brown 
Support. They took up the new positions with the 2nd 
Suffolks on the right and the 1st Northumberland Fusi- 
liers on the left. 

On the extreme south of the line the Fusilier Brigade of 
the 58th Division had been heavily engaged and had fought 
valiantly against overwhelming odds. The 2/2 Londons 
were holding a long line, the northern boundary being 
Travecy and the southern the Oise Canal, nearly 5,000 
yards. Their strength at this time was 22 officers and 
585 other ranks, an absurdly small body for so perilous a 
length of front ; and, as three German divisions appear to 
have been thrown against them, the battle had not opened 
long before the battalion were overwhelmed. The marshes 
of the Oise were thought to justify so long a line ; but the 
water was unusually low, and the thick mist more than 
neutralised the advantages of this obstacle. Travecy was 
gassed, and no further news was gained of A Company, 
stationed there. With the ten men of the trench mortar 
battery, they numbered no more than 200 ; and within 
an hour they were a besieged garrison, cut off from all 
communication with the rest of the army. These men 
held their original positions as long as there remained even 
the ghost of a chance of success. A platoon, reduced to 10 
men and an officer, held the southern end of the village 



a34 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

until only the officer and a wounded man remained. Two 
or three hundred dead Germans lay about their post 
before they fell back to the central keep. The other 
platoons fought with similar stubbornness until at noon 
the remnants of all were concentrated in the keep. 
This small body, perhaps 50 to 60 strong, was seldom left 
in peace. Throughout the day and night and up to dusk 
on March 22nd attempts were made to rush the position, 
for they found time and opportunity to enliven the enemy 
transport on the St. Quentin road, and a group of German 
staff officers who paused on the road were reminded forcibly 
that the little garrison still existed. At length, when 
darkness fell on the 22nd, the weary and hungry men 
had exhausted all their ammunition. They had used in 
their gallant resistance 18,000 rounds S.A.A., 200 trench 
mortar shells and 400 hand grenades. They had exacted a 
heavy price, and the remaining 44, including the wounded, 
were taken prisoners after two days' resistance to the 
inevitable. 

B Company and battle headquarters at La Fere stood to 
their positions, though they, too, were cut off at 9.30 a.m. 
They were still firing in the evening, and then, their ammu- 
nition almost at an end, tried to fight back to the battalion. 
At 10 a.m. Captain Houghton and part of C Company 
attempted to defend the right flank. A quarter of an 
hour later Captain G. C. Lees, the adjutant, and 40 other 
ranks were all that remained of the battalion. With these 
men C.S.M. Boag fell back to the Crozat Canal to defend 
the battle zone. The 2 /4th had moved to the canal bank 
at Fargniers the night before ; and, stationed in the battle 
zone on the morning of the attack, they became almost at 
once involved in the fighting. The Germans, advancing 
with great rapidity, gained a footing in the eastern half of 
Fargniers, but at 11 a.m. were completely held in the 
battle zone, despite repeated attacks. The 3rd Londons, 
who had now joined the brigade, were in the rear zone, and 
two companies reinforced Fargniers and the Farme Rouge 
in the afternoon. Quessy was garrisoned by a composite 



ELEVENTH BATTALION'S ADVANCE 235 

force, including the reserve and tunnelling companies. At 
8.30 p.m. the enemy were still held, but the Fusiliers 
were ordered to withdraw across the canal on the reorgani- 
sation of the division's front. The retirement was carried 
out successfully, without the enemy's knowledge. At the 
end of the day, in which it had seemed almost hopeless to 
attempt to cope with the situation, the battle zone had 
been lost, and the Fusilier Brigade were weaker by 
1,266 officers and men. The 2/2nd had been practically 
wiped out. Their task had been quite impossible, and 
they had fallen under its dead weight. 

Even the nth Battalion in the division lying north of 
the 58th agreed that the opening bombardment was the 
worst ever experienced. They were at Caillouel when the 
battle opened, on the right rear of the Fusilier brigade of 
the 58th Division. But at 8 a.m. they were ordered to 
the Tombelle Wood, and by midday the lorries had taken 
them thither. At 1 p.m. they were ordered to counter- 
attack and retake the switch line between Montescourt and 
Ly Fontaine. The Germans were already at Gibercourt, 
half-way between these two places ; and it was necessary 
to check the advance. The Fusiliers crossed the Crozat 
Canal to Montescourt, and then, with the Northants on 
their right, swept ahead at dusk. The nth Battalion's 
advance brushed away all obstacles, and a little after 7 p.m. 
the battalion set about the work of consolidation. But 
by this time the enemy were close up to the canal from 
Fargniers to Quessy, and the work of the nth was inter- 
rupted by the arrival of further orders. They had to 
form part of a rearguard covering the retirement of the 
14th Division on their northern flank and then to with- 
draw across the canal to Jussy. The men marched back 
with the experience, novel on this day, of having carried 
out a successful advance. 

The 1st Battalion had been in the line in front of Ven- 
delles on March 12th, and five days later could easily see 
the German officers examining the positions with field 
glasses. But they were relieved on the following day, and 



236 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

were out of the line when the offensive began. They 
promptly moved to battle positions — A and B were in the 
front line, C and D in the brown line east of Vendelles — 
and for an hour were compelled to wear gas helmets. 
Battalion headquarters had to be moved four times owing 
to the heavy shelling, and the German aeroplanes were 
very active. But there were singularly few casualties, 
though Second Lieutenants J. A. Mears-Devenish and 
L. G. Peaston were killed, and Second Lieutenant C. H. 
Matthews seriously wounded. 

March 22nd. — On March 22nd the attack was con- 
tinued over the whole front. The left front of the 24th 
Division after a gallant stand had been forced back 
through the successes of the enemy further north ; and 
in the afternoon the 1st Battalion, with the rest of the 
division, retired through the 50th Division to the third line 
of defence at Bernes. On this day they suffered more 
severely, among the casualties being Second Lieutenant 
R. W. Uphill killed, Captain W. L. T. Fisher wounded, 
and Captain G. A. Jones, Second Lieutenants A. Kerry 
and S. W. Wallis, missing. 

The 7th Battalion had held the line on the first day of 
battle ; they were now to retire. At 1 a.m. they were 
ordered to withdraw to the support line and be clear of the 
front line within two hours. There was no transport, and 
what could not be carried had to be destroyed. Heavy 
trench mortars and gas cylinders were made useless, and 
the battalion took to the duckboard track. The next 
morning the enemy advanced in small disconnected bodies, 
while an aeroplane, flying about 150 feet overhead, took 
stock of the new positions. The British artillery at first 
showed no sign of life ; the German was all too active, 
and the infantry moved ahead in perfect security until 
they came within range of the Lewis guns. At about 
11 a.m. the British artillery opened, and the German 
advance was checked. At 8 p.m. the withdrawal was 
resumed. 

The 4th Battalion also were compelled to retreat on this 



LOSS OF TERGNIER, MARCH 22nd 237 

day. The Germans had made considerable headway on 
the right of the 34th Division, causing that unit to retire 
and thus exposing the right flank of the 3rd Division. In 
the afternoon a determined attack was made on the 4th 
Battalion's block in Shaft Trench, but it was beaten off. 
The battalions on both sides of the 4th were driven from 
their positions ; and the Royal Fusiliers, after holding the 
enemy off for some time with both flanks in the air, were 
withdrawn. The new front line was established about 
7 p.m., and some time after parties of the 2nd K.R.R. 
and 2nd Suffolks reported themselves. It had been an 
unsatisfactory day, for the battalion had been compelled 
to retire while they were still perfectly able to hold up the 
weight of the attack on their own sector. Captain J. A. 
Coley was killed during the action, but the casualties 
were not heavy. 

At the other end of the line the remains of the London 
battalions fought valiantly to hold the Germans off the 
canal. A Company of the 3rd Londons held out in 
Tergnier against counter-attacks, and it was not until 
evening that the village changed hands. The 2/4th were 
in the reserve line, about a mile to the west, at Voeul. At 
6.30 p.m. low-flying aeroplanes attacked the position, and 
were beaten off with machine-gun fire. At night patrols 
were sent out. Though the battalion had suffered so 
heavily, they had lost none of their spirit ; and they 
succeeded in capturing a number of prisoners, including a 
machine gun and its crew. 

The nth Battalion had reached their new positions 
after the withdrawal across the canal, after midnight. 
They were thoroi ghly tired out and very hungry, and 
the cookers were the most pleasant sight they had on the 
west bank of the canal. Everything else was sufficient 
to suggest despair. The canal was an obstacle to the 
German advance ; but above Jussy it makes a sharp bend 
to the west, leaving the town in a small salient. The 
German machine guns were able to enfilade the position 
and make it untenable. The nth Royal Fusiliers soon 



238 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

had experience of the difficulties of the position. 
Shortly after daylight the German attack began. Field 
guns and trench mortars were brought up, under cover of 
which repeated attempts were made to cross the canal. 
In the afternoon, after renewed attacks in strength, the 
enemy secured a footing on the west side of the canal. A 
fierce struggle took place on the towpath, but, with the 
help of A Company of Northants, the situation was 
restored, and the Germans were forced back across the 
canal. Tergnier had been lost ; the enemy were across 
the canal in that sector ; but on the front of the 54th 
Brigade, which included the nth Royal Fusiliers, the line 
was still intact at nightfall. 

March 23rd. — The following was one of the most 
critical days of the offensive. Both the Third and Fifth 
Armies had readjusted their front, and the day was to 
put the new positions to the test. The night had witnessed 
another withdrawal of the 7th Battalion. At 8 p.m. on 
the 22nd the battalion had begun to move back through 
Trescault to the Metz switch at the southern edge of 
Havrincourt Wood. The imposing name was applied to 
a group of trenches, about two feet deep, with no field of 
fire and without dug-outs. There was no cover, and no 
communication. There was no water, no transport, 
little ammunition ; and when the Germans were seen 
advancing in the morning the battalion were ordered to 
retire once more. Captain Thomas was placed in com- 
mand of the rearguard, while Captain Foster led the first 
two companies. They marched through the wood to 
Neuville. Shells fell among the rearguard, but for- 
tunately the casualties were few. The battalion at 
length reached Lechelle. The trenches were poor. The 
battalion had no rations. The water was cut off. There 
was no reserve of ammunition. The Germans were seen 
to be advancing from the south and from the right flank. 
At this moment the 1st Artists Rifles and the 4th Bedfords 
were holding a line east of Ytres, and the 7th Royal 
Fusiliers were in support. The position rapidly grew 



SEVENTH BATTALION'S RETIREMENT 239 

critical. Heavy shell began to fall on the huts in Lechelle 
where the men had been placed for greater safety. But 
unless they retired, they would be cut off. So the bat- 
talion had to fall back over the open to the Rocquigny-Bus 
road. The Germans opened fire from the south. Shrapnel, 
high explosive and machine-gun fire made the situation 
almost intolerable. At last the battalion got through the 
barrage ; and then Captain Forster sounded his hunting 
horn, and the stragglers began to collect from various 
directions. Major Whigham was evacuated with shell 
shock. Lieut. -Colonel Malone had been wounded by a 
machine gun. From the point of view of efficiency these 
were very severe blows. Captain J. Forster, M.C., assumed 
command. At 7 p.m. the battalion were ordered to fill 
the gap between the 47th Division and the right of the 
190th Brigade. The left of the battalion was moved to 
the Bus-Lechelle road, when the enemy were reported 
advancing on Bus. An intense machine-gun fire was 
opened on the men, and touch could not be obtained with 
troops on the left, where the rest of the Brigade were 
supposed to be. A patrol sent out to Bus found the 
Germans there, and did not return. Dumps were on 
fire on every side. The enemy were seen to be advancing 
rapidly towards the main road. The position appeared 
to be beyond hope. 

Many battalions in these days had the same feeling of 
complete isolation, as though no one was fighting and 
prepared to fight but themselves. The 2nd Division were 
operating very close to the area of the 7th Battalion, and 
to the Fusilier battalions included in it the retirement 
of the 63rd Division appeared inexplicable and tended to 
make their own position untenable. The central control 
of the operations appeared to have given way. The 17th 
Battalion Royal Fusiliers had been in the fine near La 
Vacquerie in the third week of March. On the 20th they 
could observe a number of German staff officers in the 
enemy positions opposite their front. Hundreds of men 
were seen entering and leaving the trenches in full pack, 



240 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

and machine guns were being taken up to the front and 
support lines. But the Royal Fusiliers were not left to 
resolve the riddle. They were relieved that night and 
went back to Rocquigny. On March 22nd they began 
to move up again with the 24th Royal Fusiliers, the 5th 
Brigade being attached to the 17th Division as reserve 
troops. The 17th Battalion moved up to the Green Line 
as the 24th moved back to it on March 23rd. At 2 a.m. 
the 17th were standing to in expectation of an immediate 
attack. Colonel Weston was appointed outpost com- 
mander of the 6th Brigade. At 10 a.m. and again at 
1 p.m. the line was heavily shelled. Headquarters had 
already been twice moved ; and they were moved once 
again in the afternoon, to the north-east corner of Haplin- 
court. About 4.50 p.m. the Germans were seen to be 
entering Velu Wood in large numbers, and a few minutes 
later enemy shells began to burst all round and over the 
back areas. The Germans were already in Bus. 

Meanwhile at 2 p.m. the 17th Division had retired 
through the Green Line, which now became the front line. 
The 24th Battalion were astride the Bertincourt-Velu 
road, but two companies were now sent to reserve positions 
south-west of Bertincourt. The 17th Battalion at this 
moment had already moved further west under the threat 
of an outflanking movement from the south. At 10 p.m. 
the enemy attacked the headquarters troops and the 
remains of the 1st K.R.R. just north of Bus. The two 
reserve companies of the 24th formed a defensive flank 
north-east of Bus, and the attack was beaten off. The 
troops fought in complete ignorance of the dispositions 
of the 63rd Division, on their right. The Germans were 
in Bus, but the 7th Royal Fusiliers could not have been 
much more than 1,000 yards away, and between them 
were the other battalions of the 190th Brigade. 

The readjustment of the Third Army positions south 
of the Scarpe required the withdrawal of the 4th Battalion 
with the 3rd Division and the divisions on their flanks. 
The retirement was carried out between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. 



FURTHER WITHDRAWAL, MARCH 23RD 241 

The Germans were already in the rear of the support line, 
but no casualties were suffered, and the movement was 
completed without incident. 

On the front of the Fifth Army the day witnessed a more 
critical development. In the morning the 1st Battalion 
took up positions in front of Monchy Lagache, with C 
and D Companies in the front line and A and B in support. 
On the previous evening General Gough had intended to 
secure the main Peronne bridgehead by a line between 
Vraisne and Croix. Monchy Lagache lay at about the 
centre of the position, and the 1st Battalion were there- 
fore looking forward to a stand. But in the morning 
Gough's position was such that he judged it too great a 
hazard to risk decisive action with tired troops against an 
apparently limitless stream of advancing Germans, and 
orders were accordingly given for a gradual withdrawal 
to the line of the Somme. The 1st Battalion therefore 
retired from Monchy Lagache, fighting rearguard actions. 
Part of the retreat was covered by the 72nd Brigade, and 
the battalion reached the Licourt position at night after 
a very trying day, in which, however, but few casualties 
had been sustained. 

On the night of the 22nd the nth Battalion, as we have 
seen, were still holding the left sector of the canal to Jussy. 
But at dawn on the next morning, under cover of a thick 
fog, the Germans forced the canal crossing and began to 
issue in force from the town. Second Lieutenant Smedley 
scouted right out to the left flank, now in the air, " and 
up to the village under heavy machine-gun fire. This 
highly valuable work was carried out with the greatest 
pluck and determination. During the subsequent with- 
drawal Second Lieutenant Smedley, although wounded, 
carried his task to completion by covering the left flank." 
Such is the official description of an action which gained 
for this officer the M.C. But in reality this piece of work 
was one of extraordinary daring. The fog was almost 
impenetrable beyond a few feet. The battalion had only 
moved back to Jussy the day before, and it was under 

F. R 



242 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

such conditions that Smedley felt his way to the German 
position. No one, indeed, could tell, under such conditions, 
where the enemy were. And when a little after noon they 
became located, they were some distance in the rear of 
the canal on the Jussy-Faillouel road. The thin line on 
the canal became like a sieve, and knots of Germans 
trickled through. The battle line became a scene of small 
isolated encounters. Major Deakin and Captain Pearcy 
were captured. The Germans had got round both flanks, 
and penetrated through the patches of the line they 
had obliterated. Captain Brooking for fourteen hours 
defended the position held by his company on the canal 
line against repeated attempts by the enemy to cross in 
large numbers. The thick fog made this extremely 
difficult, " and it was by his personal example and skilful 
handling that the enemy were frustrated with considerable 
losses. Eventually he was badly wounded, but continued 
to encourage his men with the utmost disregard of danger " 
until he was cut off. 

The defence of the canal was most gallant. The officers 
everywhere suffered terribly, fighting till they fell or were 
cut off and captured. Lieutenant Knott killed four of 
the enemy, and then, his ammunition exhausted, clubbed 
another before he was killed. Part of the battalion did 
not receive the order to retire, and when the fog lifted at 
midday the Germans were in front and on both flanks ; 
only a small party got back to the railway line. There 
another stand was made with the headquarters troops, 
until the Germans were within ioo yards and were again 
working round the flanks. The colonel fought with this 
body and escaped with the remnants. Sergeant W. 
Brisby, M.M., gained his D.C.M. by his coolness and 
extraordinary courage. He organised the party who 
fought through the enveloping line and took part in the 
last stand. Private Jordan secured the same decoration 
for organising a bayonet attack when called upon to 
surrender. By this means the remainder of his company 
secured the freedom to get back to the battalion. 



CASUALTIES OF THE ELEVENTH BATTALION 243 

With various intermediate halts, the nth Royal Fusiliers 
at length reached Caillouel ; but they returned to the 
village in a very different condition from that in which 
they had left it. They had held an exposed position on the 
canal, and no gallantry could compensate for the handicaps 
of their position and the day. They were now only 2 
officers and 25 other ranks strong; and even when the 
battle surplus had been embodied, including tailors, police, 
pioneers, shoemakers and drums, they only mustered 
8 officers and 180 other ranks. Yet the battalion were 
full of spirit, though they were placed in brigade reserve. 

The 3rd Londons on the same day were engaged at 
Noreuil, and fell back to Chauny, where, with the 2/2nd 
Battalion, positions were taken up for the morrow. 

March 24th. — On the night of March 23rd — 24th the 
battle front south of Ypres was the critical quarter of the 
line, and the 24th saw the development of the disorganisa- 
tion which had begun on the previous day. The 4th 
Battalion again gave more than they got, and the con- 
stantly repulsed attacks cost the enemy dearly. Luden- 
dorff noted how exhausted the Seventeenth Army were 
on March 25th, and the steadfast stand of the 4th 
Battalion played its part in the general scheme which 
achieved this successful result, for this flank became the 
fixed point upon which the remainder of the Third and 
the Fifth Armies pivoted. 

The 26th Battalion (41st Division) had been brought up 
to the front hurriedly on the first day of the offensive. On 
the 22nd the division had entered the front line near Vaulx- 
Vraucourt to fill the breach which was opening between 
the 40th and 6th Divisions. The battalion were in support, 
though one after another the companies became involved 
on the flanks of the brigade, and fought very valiantly 
against repeated attacks. On the 24th the position on 
the Fifth Army front had changed so fundamentally 
that the Third Army front was drawn back a much 
greater distance, and Lieut.-Colonel H. M. Tuite was 
killed while commanding the rearguard, who covered 

R 2 



244 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the retirement of the mass of the battalion. When 
he fell an attempt was made to carry him back ; but, 
seeing how near the enemy were and how inevitable it 
was that the men should be captured if they stopped to 
remove him, he ordered them to leave him. He was 
heard of no more, and died in this way on the field of 
battle very gallantly. 

At the same time, a little to the south the 2nd Division 
were also retiring. The 17th Royal Fusiliers were the 
last to retire, after fighting a stubborn rearguard. They 
passed through Villers and Beaulencourt to Ligny, where 
the 24th Battalion joined them in position south of the 
village. Further south lay the 23rd Battalion, who had 
held the position on the flank of the Third Army, and 
after fighting an engagement with both flanks in the air 
had fallen back on Le Transloy at dusk. 

The 7th Battalion at 5 a.m. were covering the main 
Bus-Rocquigny road, and in this position held up for a 
time the enemy's advance. Rocquigny was heavily 
bombarded and subjected to machine-gun fire ; and at 
8 a.m. the battalion fell back on Le Transloy, where they 
were congratulated by the G.O.C. division on their fine 
work during the first stage of the retreat. In a few hours 
the enemy pressure on their position was such that the 
battalion were ordered to fall back once more. They 
retired as left flank guard across country through Flers and 
High Wood to Bazentin le Petit. The village was reached 
at 6 p.m. after several encounters with the enemy. The 
battalion were now ordered to divisional reserve at Cource- 
lette, and spent the night in a chalk quarry in the open. 

While these movements were taking place in the Third 
Army the 1st Royal Fusiliers were being withdrawn from 
the line on the Somme front. At 7 a.m. they began their 
march to Chaulnes, where they took up outposts for the 
night. The nth Battalion were still not far from the 
Oise. During the day they were in brigade reserve 
behind the Crepigny ridge. To the north, the village 
of Beaugies was thought to be held by the French, and a 



WITHDRAWAL CONTINUED, MARCH 24TH-25TH 245 

patrol of the nth Battalion were sent out to clear up the 
position. The road rises sharply from Crepigny through 
a thick wood, and it was difficult to see clearly. Captain 
Wattenbach with five men and a Frenchman went out 
after dark, and near Beaugies ran into a body of Germans. 
At first it was thought that they must be British troops, 
since no one at the time knew that the enemy had pene- 
trated so far west ; but when the true state of the case was 
discovered the patrol made their way back to report. 
The brigade fell back, but the position was not cleared up 
till the following day. 

Still further south the 2/2nd and 3rd Londons, who had 
taken positions east of Chauny on the previous day, were 
attacked with great force after three hours' bombard- 
ment. Despite their weakness, the attack was beaten off, 
and the battalions were enabled to continue their retire- 
ment, the 2/2nd to Abbecourt and the 3rd Londons to 
Quierzy and Manicamp. 

March 25th. — The 4th Royal Fusiliers were not engaged 
on March 25th. The position on this part of the front 
had hardened. The Germans had been fought to a stand- 
still, and for two days there was no attack. But further 
south the enemy had crossed the Somme and were now 
fighting on the old Somme battlefield. North of Bapaume 
the 26th Battalion were heavily engaged during the day, 
as the Germans delivered repeated attacks east of Achiet 
le Grand. But, under the command of Major Etchells, all 
attacks were beaten off. 

On the night of the 24th, the 17th and 24th Battalions 
had assembled just east of Ligny Thilloy, and contact 
had not been made with the enemy when they withdrew 
and marched south-west along the Bapaume-Albert road. 
Between Pys and Le Sars the brigade to which both 
battalions belonged took up positions and met the German 
attack with rifle and machine-gun fire. But at noon 
fresh attacks were delivered. Grevillers and Bihucourt 
fell. These villages were on the north of the position 
held by the two Fusilier battalions, and their division 



246 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

was out of touch with the divisions farther south. At 
2.10 p.m. the Germans were pushing through Le Sars, and 
could be seen advancing under cover of a smoke screen 
on Courcelette. At 4 p.m. the 17th Battalion were 
ordered to stand at all costs. But two battalions moved 
off on the right, and Colonel Weston led a counter-attack 
with about 40 men and drove the enemy back over the 
railway. The 51st Division, on the left, were now forced 
to retire. The right flank gave way, Major Pretty being 
killed. The battalion, now at Miraumont, began to retire 
along the main road to Beaucourt, which appeared to be 
full of officers and men of different units. Another move 
was made to a spot just south of the Ancre near Hamel. 
The 24th Battalion had also fallen back to the spur east 
of Hamel, and in these positions the night was passed. 

The 23rd Royal Fusiliers had spent the night 24 — 25th 
at Le Transloy. Their position had been necessarily 
exposed, as their brigade (90th) had been detached from 
the 2nd Division in an attempt to fill the gap between the 
Third and Fifth Armies. But at dawn on the 25th the 
troops moved westwards and took up positions around 
Gueudecourt. They reverted to the 2nd Division at this 
place, but their position was still exposed. The neigh- 
bouring troops were well to the west of them, and, not 
far away, units could be seen to the north and the south 
retiring, though in perfect order. Brig. -General Barnett- 
Barker (99th Brigade) was urged by generals and staff 
officers of other units to retire with them. A 5-9 shell 
burst beyond the village, and a little later Barnett-Barker 
was persuaded of the uselessness of defending the village. 
A tent had been put up for him by the roadside on the 
west of the village, and he wrote the order to retire at 
discretion at 5.30 p.m., stating that brigade headquarters 
were moving back a mile. Another shell fell near by, and 
he was killed at once, as he was leaving his tent for his 
new headquarters.* 

* The first commanding officer of the 22nd Royal Fusiliers in France, 
Barnett-Barker was closely associated with the battalion until its 



BACK TO THE SOMME BATTLEFIELD 247 

At dusk the 23rd Battalion fell back to Eaucourt 
l'Abbaye after an unsatisfactory day. They had stood 
like an island in the wash of retiring troops, and at length 
had themselves been forced to fall back. Lieut. -Colonel 
Winter, as senior colonel, assumed command of the brigade, 
and Major Lewis took over command of the battalion. 

It is a remarkable fact that, though the 23rd were never 
seriously challenged at Gueudecourt on this day, the 
17th Battalion had been heavily attacked at Miraumont, 
five miles to the west, the 24th Battalion were compelled 
to retire from the neighbourhood of Le Sars, three miles 
further west, and the 7th were outflanked at Courcelette, 
four miles to the west. Neither Le Sars nor Courcelette 
lay as much as a mile distant from Gueudecourt in a north 
and south direction. At noon the 7th Royal Fusiliers 
took up a high position covering Courcelette. The enemy 
were still advancing in force, and the troops in front of the 
battalion were forced behind their position, and touch was 
not maintained on the flanks. As a consequence the 
battalion began to withdraw slowly towards Thiepval at 
2 p.m., covered by a rearguard, with the Germans pressing 
round both flanks. They became involved in a heavy 
engagement, and many men were cut off. At 8 p.m. 
they took up a position on the right of Thiepval road and 
held on until 4 a.m. on the next day. The anomalies in 
the Third Army position, as reflected in the fortunes of 
the Royal Fusilier battalions, appear greater than those 
of the Fifth Army. 

The 1st Battalion moved forward this day from Chaulnes 
to Dreslincourt ; but, encountering very heavy forces, 
they were compelled to fight their way back to Chaulnes. 
The remnants of the nth Battalion further south were sent 
to hold the Montagne de Grandru * and prevent the 

disbandment. The conventional phrase that he was beloved by the 
battalion was in this case literally true, for he earned and won an 
extraordinary regard and respect from all who came in contact with him. 
* It is a point of interest that on this position they lay only two or 
three miles from Crisolles, where the 4th Battalion had halted in the 
retreat after Le Cateau in 19 14. 



248 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Germans getting round to the rear of the 18th Division. 
The enemy had been seen earlier in the morning marching 
behind a band to the west, on the left flank of the division. 
About ii a.m. a heavy machine-gun fire was opened from 
Behericourt, on the right rear of the Fusiliers' line. They 
were almost cut off, and the Bedfordshires had to move 
up on their right to cover their retreat. The nth Batta- 
lion slipped away by platoons under a very heavy fire, 
and, some French troops coming up, the Fusiliers and 
Bedfordshires were withdrawn to the reserve. All en- 
deavours were being shaped to enable these troops to 
cross the Oise, and the Germans, in attempting to get 
round to the rear, hoped to cut them off. When the 
Fusiliers returned from the Montagne de Grandru it was 
hoped that they could cross by the bridge at Babceuf. 
But the Germans were found to be already in possession ; 
and the troops were moving westwards when it was dis- 
covered that there was a gap between the French and the 
53rd Brigade with only a thin line of 75 's in position. It 
was at once determined to prevent the Germans forcing 
this gap and capturing the guns by a counter-attack ; and 
the Fusiliers were put into the fighting once more with 
the Bedfords. With a spirited advance * at 5.30 p.m. 
Babceuf was retaken, after some street fighting ; and the 
Fusiliers were then withdrawn westward to Varesnes, 
where they crossed to safety over the half-demolished 
bridge, and left the line for a few days. The battalion had 
lost practically all but its spirit. The London battalions 
of the 58th Division had already found sanctuary across 
the Oise, and on this day held Quierzy and Manicamp on 
the south of the river. On the following day the remnants 
of the three battalions were formed into one battalion 
under command of Lieut. -Colonel R. H. Dann, D.S.O. 

Aveluy. — The positions on the north of the Somme now 
began to take final shape. The 23rd Royal Fusiliers had 
slipped back from Eaucourt l'Abbaye during the night, 
and on the 26th were occupying positions near the 17th 

* " A brilliant counter-attack, capturing 150 prisoners " (Despatch). 



NINTH BATTALION ENGAGED 249 

and 24th Battalions, close to Beaumont Hamel. At 
Hamel the 17th and 24th Battalions held positions near 
the final resting place of the 3rd Army front. On the 
north, however, the Germans crossed the Ancre and took 
Colincamps in the morning, but the village was retaken 
by New Zealand troops in the afternoon. On the left 
flank the 23rd Battalion were heavily engaged until 
relieved by the New Zealand Division, but the 17th and 
24th were not attacked. 

Further south the 9th Battalion had now entered the 
battle. On the 24th they had been at Auchy le Bois, and 
on the 25th had been compelled to travel all night to 
Albert. The position changed so rapidly in this area 
that they were first ordered to Montauban, then to Carnoy. 
The second order was cancelled, and they remained by the 
roadside. On the 26th they had new orders to take up 
position on the western bank of the river Ancre, in front 
of Aveluy, and they were in line by 6 a.m. 

To the north lay the 7th Royal Fusiliers, who had crossed 
the river by the Authuile bridge and were holding the 
eastern edge of Aveluy Wood. From the high ground 
they could see the Germans moving towards Aveluy at 
8 a.m., and the bridges were at once destroyed. An hour 
later, troops of the 12th Division relieved the battalion, 
who thereupon withdrew through the wood to Martinsart 
and Engelbelmer. 

From the hollow, where the 9th Battalion lay, the enemy 
were not seen until midday, when they were observed 
advancing over the high ground east of the river. During 
the night the Germans made a determined attempt to 
cross the Ancre but were driven off by Lewis guns, 
machine guns and rifles. Farther north the enemy 
succeeded in forcing his way into Mesnil and the eastern 
edge of Aveluy Wood. To the south Albert was lost. At 
3 a.m. on March 27th the 7th Battalion were in support 
to an attack of their brigade on the railway west of Albert. 
The Germans were prevented debouching from the town, 
and the battalion were moved to the Bouzincourt- Aveluy 



250 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

road, where they checked the enemy advance till late in 
the evening, when they were relieved and left the line. 

In this sector, March 27th again saw heavy righting. 
At 8 a.m. the Germans renewed their attempts to force a 
crossing, but were again driven back by the 9th Royal 
Fusiliers. The battalion on the right were overwhelmed 
half an hour later and were closely pursued by the enemy. 
The 9th Battalion, with their right in the air, were forced 
back. A platoon under Captain Beaurains held on until 
completely surrounded, and then fought their way back 
to the high ground on the west of the village. D Company 
attempted to deliver a counter-attack, but the enemy 
machine-gun fire prevented them reaching the river. At 
5 p.m. the Germans resumed their attack from the direc- 
tion of Albert ; and, the right flank being again turned, 
the battalion fell back to the high ground in front of 
Martinsart Wood, where a line was organised during the 
night with the 5th Royal Berks on the right. To the 
north of the 9th Battalion, the enemy had attacked in 
strength with such success that the 5th Brigade were 
recalled, and the 24th Royal Fusiliers took over positions 
in close support along the northern edge of Aveluy Woodd 
On the 28th the enemy attacked the railway embankment 
west of the wood, but the 24th Royal Fusiliers counter- 
attacked with two other battalions and drove them back. 
The right of the 9th Battalion was once more attacked at 
9 a.m., but the attack was beaten off with loss. On the 
following day posts were established in the southern edge 
of Aveluy Wood without opposition ; but an attempt to 
establish a Lewis gun post down the forward slope was 
checked by machine-gun fire. The 9th and 24th Royal 
Fusilier Battalions on this front were relieved on the 
evening of this day, and the battle began to die down. 
The 17th Battalion, who relieved the 99th Brigade, were 
not disturbed in Aveluy Wood, and on March 30th 
suffered comparatively little in the German bombardment. 

To Amiens. — During these same days, while the oppos- 
ing forces about Aveluy had been fighting for a mile or two of 



FIRST BATTALION'S RETIREMENT 251 

ground, the 1st Battalion had covered a distance of nearly 
seventeen miles as the crow flies, and considerably more 
as an army marches. They were the last troops to leave 
Chaulnes on March 26th, and they did not retire until 
the Germans were pressing round their left flank. They 
marched back to Lihons, crossed the Amiens railway and 
reached Vrely, where they lay in support on the following 
day. On March 28th they fell back once more for the 
same reason that had compelled them to abandon Chaulnes. 
Their left flank was in the air, and a local counter-attack 
with the 3rd Rifle Brigade could not do more than inter- 
pose a temporary check. They continued their retire- 
ment through Caix, and formed a covering flank towards 
the north-east for a French counter-attack. But the 
Germans, ever pressing onward, were once more round the 
battalion's flanks, and they marched back to Villers aux 
Erables and thence across the Avre to Castel for the night. 
The 29th found them on outpost positions on the high 
ground between Castel and Hailles. On March 30th a 
persistent rain fell and imposed a check upon the enemy 
advance, though it did not impede the gathering of the 
French, who were now arriving in great numbers. The 
position even on this part of the front was approaching 
equilibrium. Montdidier had fallen. The Germans were 
established across the Avre and before Hangard ; but 
successes gained by the enemy were now smaller, more 
bitterly contested, and more dearly bought. At 3 p.m. 
on the following day the 1st Battalion were ordered out to 
protect the Hailles bridgehead. A few days later they 
saw service in the Gentelles-Hangard line, but the tour 
was without incident. 

This last phrase hardly describes the projected attack 
by the nth Royal Fusiliers on the Aubercourt ridge, north- 
east of Hangard, on the evening of April 2nd. They were 
fired on from the front and the rear ; and the enemy 
barrage was so heavy that the attack was abandoned. 
The following night they were ordered to counter-attack, 
and after crossing ploughed fields in pouring rain by 



252 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

compass, found themselves moving towards a vast gap. 

A line was determined upon, and word was sent back that 

at least another battalion would be required to fill the gap. 

The Essex were sent forward and the position cleared up. 

Arras. — Meanwhile an attack had been delivered on the 

northern or pivotal flank of the battle front. Decisively 

checked in this quarter at the beginning of his offensive, 

the enemy on March 28th made a determined effort to 

obtain greater freedom for the development of his offensive 

by a blow in great force along the valley of the Scarpe, 

though the attack extended as far south as Bucquoy. 

Three first line battalions of the Londons and the 

4th Royal Fusiliers were involved in this heavy battle. 

In a message to the 3rd Division on March 30th, Lieut. - 

General Haldane, commanding the VI. Corps, wrote : 

' The repeated efforts, made in great force by a determined 

enemy, to break through the left of the Corps where the 

soldiers of the 3rd Division stood were repulsed time after 

time, and where ground had to be yielded to maintain an 

unbroken line, every foot was contested with a resolution 

which can hardly have been surpassed in the annals of 

the British Army. Had the 3rd Division, much weakened 

by several days of hard fighting and nights devoid of rest, 

not maintained an unbroken front on March 28th, it is 

difficult to believe that the enemy could have failed to 

attain his objective — the capture of Arras." 

The 4th Royal Fusiliers, forming part of this division, 
had left the front line on March 27th, but at 9.40 a.m. on 
the following day X Company was ordered up to the Green 
Line to occupy the position vacated by Z Company. The 
9th Brigade lay below Neuville-Vitasse, and early in the 
battle the brigades on both sides had been driven back. 
Z Company had reached the support line of the first system, 
only to find it already gravely prejudiced and under a 
heavy attack. Captain Lord, M.C., accordingly formed a 
defensive flank for the brigade with the company, and, 
with the remainder of the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers 
and the 13th King's, held the position against all attacks 



GERMAN ATTACK AT ARRAS, MARCH 28th 253 

until 5 p.m. The line being no longer tenable, they suc- 
cessfully withdrew through the Green Line which, with 
Neuville-Vitasse, now became the front line. Before the 
withdrawal a platoon of W Company had been sent up to 
strengthen both flanks of the battalion. 

The remaining platoons of W Company were sent up to 
the left flank to try to fill the gap between the battalion 
and the 76th Brigade. But this brigade had been driven 
out of Neuville-Vitasse, and the two platoons could not 
gain contact with them. Z Company were then sent up 
to form a defensive flank west of the village. They had 
been heavily engaged all day and had steadily covered the 
withdrawal through the Green Line. But they were still 
able to perform a new and perilous task. Taking up 
position in a number of shell holes, they successfully closed 
the gap and enabled the division to present an organised 
front once more. During the March fighting the battalion 
suffered 13 officers and 193 other ranks casualties. On 
March 29th the four companies were in the line and head- 
quarters details in support. But the attack had been 
definitely checked, and on this sector of the front no 
further appreciable change took place. 

North of the Scarpe, where the three London battalions 
were engaged, the plane of fighting was not very different. 
The 1/4 Londons, who bore the brunt of the attack, lay 
a few hundred yards west of Oppy. The main defences 
of the forward area were three posts, Oppy Post (north- 
west), Wood Post (facing Oppy), and Beatty Post (south- 
east of the village) . The first and last were overwhelmed 
early in the battle ; and the enemy gained a footing in the 
positions on the right and left of the battalion. Wood 
Post, however, held out for about an hour. The prelimi- 
nary bombardment had caused little damage and no 
casualties ; and the small garrison of 2 officers and 45 
other ranks inflicted heavy casualties with rifle and Lewis- 
gun fire. A small body of Germans who had gained a 
footing in the trench connecting the old and the new posts 
were promptly bombed out. When Beatty Post fell the 



254 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

enemy attempted to get round Wood Post from the right. 
Attempts to get round the left were repeatedly checked, 
But the right flank was more vulnerable ; and at length, 
when bombs and ammunition were almost exhausted, the 
survivors of the garrison, i officer and 15 other ranks, with- 
drew, covered by the Lewis guns. Beatty Post had been 
badly damaged by the German trench mortars, and 
although it was overwhelmed by the attack in fifteen 
minutes, the garrison had first inflicted heavy casualties 
on the enemy as they advanced in great density through 
the wire. Only 1 officer and 6 other ranks escaped of the 
3 officers and 84 other ranks who had garrisoned the post. 
Oppy Post garrison had lost heavily in the preliminary 
bombardment and only 6 returned of the original 50. 

The resistance of Wood Post saved the Marquis line 
astride the Ouse valley from being overwhelmed. About 
9.30 a.m., after it had fallen, a strong body of the enemy 
were seen working up Ouse Trench towards the forward 
battalion headquarters. Major F. A. Phillips, who was 
in charge of the forward area, at once counter-attacked over 
the open with 20 headquarters details. The Germans were 
pressed back and a block established, which was held with 
grenades by a party under Sergeant Udall. Second 
lieutenant Hudson, with a platoon in Marquis Trench, 
formed a defensive flank and held his positions with fine 
spirit. Time after time during the day the enemy gained 
a footing in the line but was immediately thrown out ; 
and the defence of the forward line undoubtedly did much 
to stem the enemy advance. The battalion lost 236 
officers and men, 160 being cut off in the disconnected 
fighting, chiefly at the three posts. But this action, 
probably the most important and useful fought by the 
battalion, deserves to rank high among the fine defensive 
battles of this day. 

Bucquoy. — In the last days of March the 10th and 13th 
Royal Fusiliers had been brought down from the Ypres 
area and had reached the neighbourhood of Gommecourt. 
On March 31st the 13th Battalion went into the front 



GERMAN ATTACK, APRIL 5th 255 

line at Bucquoy. The following morning the Germans 
attempted to rush the bombing posts of No. 2 Company. 
The attacks were beaten off, and Second Lieutenant J. 
Davis, though wounded, stood on the top of the parapet 
and continued to direct the bombers. It was noticed that 
during these days the enemy exposed themselves very 
freely and provided good practice for the snipers. But on 
April 5th the battalion were involved in a very determined 
attack which the enemy delivered from the Somme to 
some distance beyond Bucquoy. The preliminary bom- 
bardment at 5.30 a.m. practically obliterated the trench 
positions of Nos. 1 and 3 Companies. At 8.45 strong 
bombing attacks were made on Nos. 2 and 3 Companies, 
and the men were pressed back to company headquarters 
before a counter-attack restored the position. About two 
hours later it was seen that other battalions had not been 
so successful, and the left of the battalion being uncovered, 
the order was given to retire. Nos. 2 and 3 Companies 
fell back covered by No. 1 Company's support platoon 
under Second Lieutenant G. E. Vickers. The flank of 
No. 1 Company being uncovered in the withdrawal, they 
were at once rushed, and a desperate fight followed at 
company headquarters, which were partially blown in, 
several men being buried. Before the company could 
extricate themselves a number of men were cut off. By 
2 p.m. the line was reorganised with parties of several 
other battalions and of the trench mortar battery, and no 
attempt was made to press the attack home. A great 
many decorations were given for this spirited defence, in- 
cluding the D.S.O. to Lieut. -Colonel H. A. Smith, M.C., 
through whose skilful handling of a crumbling position the 
neighbouring battalions were organised into an effective 
fighting force, and the M.C. to Second Lieutenant J. Davis. 
A little to the south the 7th Royal Fusiliers were in- 
volved in the same attack. They had taken over the front 
line positions near Mesnil from the 24th Royal Fusiliers 
on April 3rd, when Captain (acting Major) P. L. E. Walker, 
of the 7th Hussars, had taken over the command of the 



256 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

battalion. The preliminary bombardment had cut all 
communications, and at 10.30 a.m. the position was 
already critical. The great loss of officers led to some 
disorganisation, and, with the battalion out of touch on 
both flanks, the men were overwhelmed. The Germans 
had got through the line and were firing upon the men 
from the rear. Captain Tealby withdrew his men, and in 
the new positions inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. 
Hand-to-hand fighting persisted throughout the afternoon. 
At dusk the right of the position was taken over by another 
battalion, but it was impossible to effect contact with 
the troops on the left, and in the gap there were three 
enemy patrols. At 4.30 on the morning of April 6th 
further attempts were made to get into touch with the 
Bedfords on the left. The adjutant and three men at 
length achieved contact, and posted a Lewis-gun team 
with a small party of the battalion on that flank. Major 
Walker had been severely wounded, all the officers were 
now casualties and a N.C.O. took charge. A counter- 
attack by the Royal Marine Light Infantry, in which the 
remainder of the battalion took part, recovered much of 
the lost ground, and by 2 p.m. the position was partly 
consolidated. It was held till dusk, despite the heavy 
barrage, and the 7th Battalion were then relieved. They 
had lost 12 officers and 205 other ranks in two days of 
most bitter fighting, but in the end the Germans had not 
appreciably changed the position. 

The area of the Somme offensive bubbled up into action 
at various points for some little time yet. But the worst 
was over, though no one as yet knew it, and the centre of 
interest had already moved northward to the area about 
the Lys, where similar startling changes swiftly appeared 
to wash away all the landmarks which three and a half 
years' occupation had established. 

The Lys. — With the same suddenness that the offen- 
sive on the Somme had begun, the storm broke on the Lys. 
Almost at once defences which had the prescriptive right 
of three and a half years' tenure were swept away, and 



THE BATTLE OF THE LYS 257 

new crises appeared. In the original attack no Royal 
Fusilier units were involved. But the battle had not been 
joined long before the 2nd and 4th Battalions were both 
summoned to the area. During the Somme offensive the 
2nd Battalion had been engaged on the Gravenstafel 
defence line, and they remained in the Ypres area until 
the Battle of the Lys began. On April 10th they arrived 
by bus at Vieux Berquin at 6.30 a.m. They were sent in 
the evening to occupy positions in support of the troops 
holding Estaires, but at 4 a.m. they withdrew, handing 
over to the 5th Durham Light Infantry, who had evacu- 
ated Estaires. At noon they took over the defences of 
Doulieu with three companies. In a few hours the village 
was the centre of brisk fighting, and the support company 
(Z) had to be sent to the right flank position, where the 
Germans were making headway too rapidly. 

As the day wore on Doulieu tended to become the 
apex of a small salient, but the men held on until 2 a.m. 
of the 12th, when they were ordered to retire. They fell 
back about two miles, and at 9 a.m. they were heavily 
attacked in an isolated position. The 31st Division, 
on the right, had retired ; and the battalion fell back 
gradually to the village of Bleu, which was held by 
the remnants of the 86th and 87th Brigades until 
4 p.m. The British line had now begun to show gaps 
under the continued pressure of superior forces, and the 
enemy pushed through and seized Outtersterne and 
Merris. The 2nd Battalion fell back once more to the 
Vieux Berquin-Outtersterne road up to the Farm Labis, 
where the left was drawn back along the edge of a wood. 
The day had been one of very heavy righting on positions 
which could not be maintained in face of the forces pitted 
against them. 

The Germans attacked heavily early in the morning of 
the 13th, but were held up by the left post, which inflicted 
considerable casualties by machine-gun fire. The catching 
fire of an ammunition dump on the right front of the 
battalion formed a useful diversion by causing confusion 



258 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

among the Germans as they formed up in its vicinity. But 
the attack developed very heavily against Vieux Berquin 
on the right of the battalion, and the troops holding it 
were driven back. The support troops on the right of the 
2nd Battalion also retired, and the right flank was then 
left open. At nightfall both flanks were open, Vieux 
Berquin had fallen, and the Germans had passed the small 
island of troops on the north and the south. The batta- 
lion were withdrawn during the night, and on the 14th 
arrived at Borre. In the fifty-two hours they had spent 
in the Lys battle area the 2nd Royal Fusiliers had 15 
officers and 324 other ranks casualties. They were true to 
their fate in finding the hottest part in the battlefield ; 
but their steadfast stand had played no small part in gain- 
ing time for the deployment of reinforcements. Included 
in the casualties were Captain H. V. Wells, Lieutenant L. B. 
Solomon, Second Lieutenants H. Norwell, N. H. Willett, 
H. L. Mepham, G. T. S. Rumball and F. J. A. Wilson. On 
April 15th a composite brigade was formed, the 2nd Royal 
Fusiliers forming No. 1 Battalion, two other battalions 
making up No. 2 Battalion, of the 87th Brigade. 

Meanwhile the 4th Battalion had also made their 
appearance in this area. They had been brought up 
hurriedly on April 9th. About 5 a.m. on the 10th the 
battalion took up position from the La Bass£e Canal to 
the north-east corner of Gorre Wood, coming under the 
orders of the 55th Division until April 15th. On this 
sector of the Lys battleground the troops had offered a 
most stubborn resistance. The front of the 166th Brigade, 
to which the 4th Battalion were attached, was dented 
several times at Loisne, not a mile from where the Royal 
Fusiliers lay ; and the men shared every bombardment 
which was aimed at the troops holding the line. All day 
on the 10th they were subjected to a rain of 5-9 shell. On 
the following day the two left companies experienced a 
particularly intense bombardment and suffered twenty- 
three casualties. Battle-tried units in support were 
relieved on the 13th, and on the night of the 14th the 



FINE DEFENCE OF THIRD LONDONS 259 

4th Battalion took over the left sector of the front line. 
" All ranks of this battalion did all that was demanded of 
them in a soldierly manner," wrote Brig.-General R. J. 
Kentish, of the 166th Infantry Brigade, on handing over 
the sector to the 9th Brigade, to which the 4th Battalion 
belonged. 

Villers Bretonneux. — Local attacks continued to be 
made at various parts of the Somme battle-front during the 
struggle in the Lys area, but the engagement that took 
place at Villers Bretonneux on April 24th was a more 
serious operation. The Fusilier battalion formed from the 
remnants of the three London battalions of the 58th 
Division had been disbanded on April 4th, and it was 
three battalions who made their appearance in the Han- 
gard area in the third week of April. This sector of the 
front south of the Somme had a particular attraction for the 
enemy, for it covered the junction of the British and French 
Armies. On April 23rd A Company of the 2/2 Londons 
wounded and took prisoner a German, who gave the details 
of the attack which began the next morning at three o'clock 
near Hangard Wood with a heavy barrage and gas bom- 
bardment. At 6 a.m. the infantry attacks began, and 
the 3rd Londons * south of the Hangard Wood held 
their line all day in spite of the flanks giving way. The 
2/4 Londons did not fare so well. The first attacks were 
beaten off successfully, but when the attack was resumed 
with tanks in the afternoon, the left flank was turned and 
the battalion fell back. A little later another readjust- 
ment of the line became necessary ; and the 2/4th took 
up position in the Cachy Switch Line, east of the village, 
continuing in a line of shell holes near the Cachy- Hangard 
road. They had given way, though not to such a depth 
as the troops further north at Villers Bretonneux ; and 
battalion headquarters did not move the whole day from 
the quarry east of Cachy. But their losses were extremely 
heavy, including 4 officers and 203 other ranks missing. 

* Lieut. -Colonel Chart was awarded the D.S.O. for his services on 
this occasion. 

s 2 



2 6o ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

The 3rd Londons were still in line when the counter-attack 
at 10 p.m. on the 24th partly restored the positions of 
their left flank, and on the following day they saw a 
further German attack broken up by British artillery. 
Both battalions were relieved on this day. The 2/2 
Londons were not engaged, nor were the nth Royal 
Fusiliers, who were in support to the 58th Division. But 
the 3rd and the 2/4th played no mean part in an action in 
which the enemy were first decisively checked in the 
Somme area, and then pushed out of their momentary 
gains. 



XIV 



SALONIKA 



After their heavy losses at Loos the 3rd Battalion were 
withdrawn from the line for a brief rest, had a term of 
trench duty near Givenchy, and then entrained for Mar- 
seilles. On October 25th, just a month after the battle 
of Loos, they embarked for Alexandria, where they 
remained about a month. By December, 1915, they had 
reached Salonika. The troops found little to occupy them. 
For the first six months they were in the standing camp at 
Salonika, with the Bulgars some thirty miles away, across 
the frontier. They were accommodated for some time in 
tents and dug-outs in a small depression of the hills, west 
of the Dehrbend Pass. The Lembet Plain and the bay to 
the south made a very beautiful vista, and on a good day 
Mount Olympus looked scarcely ten miles away. For work 
the battalion had to turn their hand to the construction 
of observation posts for the artillery and also to road- 
making. 

One or two air raids were all that gave a touch of excite- 
ment to life. The only provision against aircraft at this 
time was a few 18-pounder guns set up on improvised 
carriages. On one occasion the enemy airmen had a 
great success. The German airmen who crossed the lines 
on March 27th just after dawn dropped a bomb on the 
ammunition dump, which contained practically the whole 
reserve stock. There was a tremendous explosion, and a 
column of smoke rose high in the air and spread out like 
a mushroom. 

Another break in the monotony was the four days' 
brigade trek which began on April 4th. Its real object 
was to give the men some chance of stretching their legs. 



262 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

They marched in shirt-sleeves, but without helmets, as 
these had not yet been issued. The country is very fine, 
but the brambles, which are alive with tortoises, made 
marching the reverse of comfortable. Camp fires were 
allowed at night ; and with a flute, two drumsticks and 
a canteen lid, an improvised band filled the air with 
music. Shortly after the return from this trek the 
battalion, being among the troops selected to represent 
the British infantry at the presentation of the G.C.M.G. 
to General Sarrail, paraded for a rehearsal. In the midst 
of this a wolf galloped across the front of the troops. Wild 
wolves had been heard of, but this was the first one seen. 
On May 3rd the battalion started on an eight days' 
divisional trek. When they returned numerous kit 
inspections were held in anticipation of the movement 
north to the Struma. The hitherto accepted excuse for 
the loss of any article — •" Lost at Vermelles, sir ! " — had 
to be finally abandoned. 

In June the battalion with the 85th Brigade moved 
north to reinforce the 22nd Division in the Vardar Valley, 
and as the aeroplanes then available could only fly between 
8 a.m. and 4 p.m., the troops were confined to those hours 
for marching. They had got as far as Sarigeul, on the 
Salonika-Seres-Constantinople railway, when they were 
ordered back to go to the Struma hills. Marching in 
the hot weather was an almost unendurable strain, and 
the 3rd Battalion have an imperishable memory of Whit 
Monday's march. In spite of a long midday rest, the heat 
had been so trying that many men fainted on getting into 
camp. When the men reached a well near Orljak Bridge 
there was almost a free fight for water. They at length 
reached Tureka and camped around the village. Road- 
making again became the order of the day. The Struma 
lay a mile to the east, and in the dry weather it seemed 
unbearably inviting. But some French soldiers had been 
drowned, and bathing was forbidden. This order was 
obeyed until, at a certain spot, cattle were seen standing 
in the river to drink. It was also forbidden to cross the 



LIFE AT SALONIKA 263 

Struma ; but the sight of some wild ducks proved too 
much, and some shooting took place in which the sports- 
men did not trouble about a kit. 

In the summer malaria began to make inroads on the 
troops. Drafts reaching the country seemed to be 
attacked almost immediately on arrival. Yet, in spite 
of this scourge, the men worked well at the arduous occupa- 
tion of roadmaking ; but it was decided to move camp, 
for the sake of health, to the hills. After a few weeks' 
stay there the Fusiliers moved via Paprat to Petkovo, 
on the southern crest of the Krusha Balkans ; and the 
battalion were given some five miles to prepare for defence 
on the right of the French. On arrival the Petkovo 
Valley was full of cattle, and permission was asked to 
drive them behind the lines. This was refused, and the 
cattle were seized later by the Bulgars ! The minor 
operations preparatory to the entry of Rumania into the 
war took place, but they were eclipsed by the advance 
of the enemy armies into Greece. One morning 
(August 17th, 1 916) the Bulgarian Army was seen to be 
moving southward through the Rupel Pass. They 
approached the Struma, and in this way began that long 
series of minor exchanges which lasted till the end of the 
Salonika campaign. The battalion for the most part were 
merely spectators, being almost invariably in support. 
At one point it was decided to clear all the villages to our 
front, and the inhabitants were evacuated to the west. 
As the French had received orders to evacuate them to the 
east, they had a bad time until this matter was straigh- 
tened out. It was a strange life the troops led in these 
months. A sort of pigeon English had been invented in 
order to communicate with the local inhabitants. The 
exordium was generally " Hi, boy ! " and the peroration 
" Finish, Johnny " — brief, clear and pointed. 

On October 23rd the battalion advanced into the valley 
for winter, and camped at Lositza. The Italians had 
replaced the French on the left of the battalion, and the 
men made some experiments with wine bought from our 



264 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

allies. The Italians appeared to be always singing, but 
the amount of work they got through was wonderful. 
The Fusiliers were really startled when a soldier arrived in 
camp wounded through the arm. They had been in the 
Balkans for nearly a year, and this was their first casualty 
at the hands of the enemy. They were now stationed near 
the issue of the Butkova River from the lake, and the 
Bulgars were on the other side. The mountain battery 
used to water and wash their mules in the river until the 
authorities decided to stir up the Bulgars. A patrol of 
No. 4 Company was ordered to cross the river by a pontoon. 
The Bulgars resisted, and Major Burnett Hitchcock, who 
was second in command, was wounded ; a soldier who was 
also wounded died on the way to the ambulance. 

The Butkova Crossing.— On November 24th, 1916, 
the attempt to cross the river was renewed. Two 
platoons of D Company with two canvas pontoons lay 
concealed on the bank opposite the creek. It was heavy 
mist that morning, and the mountain battery could not 
open fire till 8.30. The boats were lowered into the water ; 
and two men, already stripped, swam across under heavy 
rifle fire, with telephone lines attached to towing ropes, 
covered by two platoons with Lewis guns. The boats 
were pulled across by means of these ropes, and the troops, 
moving up the northern bank of the river, occupied two 
Bulgar trenches. Half of a covering platoon crossed with 
picks and shovels, and began to organise the position. 
Patrols were posted in the adjacent woods, and the men 
remained in the captured positions until the afternoon of 
the following day. At 6.0 that morning the Bulgars 
counter-attacked, and in the mist reached the wire. 
They were then dispersed. The battalion lost three 
wounded in this small operation, and inflicted 15 casualties 
on the Bulgars. One of the latter was taken prisoner, 
and the Fusiliers recrossed the river after securing the 
information they had set out to obtain. Another similar 
raid took place on November 28th. 

In January, 1917, the battalion crossed the Struma and 



ACTION OF MAY 15TH 265 

moved into trenches near Barakli-Djuma, where they 
remained until May 17th. Their sector of trenches lay 
about a third of a mile west and north-west of Barakli- 
Djuma. During their first ten days in the trenches, 
which were now close up to the Bulgar positions, they were 
shelled at intervals throughout the day. In February 
malaria began to make inroads on the unit. Forty-five 
cases were treated, and 1 officer and 12 other ranks were 
evacuated to hospital. It was not a good preparation for 
active operations ; and their role in the readjustments 
preparatory to the April offensive was to prevent the 
Bulgars moving their troops to the Doiran sector, where 
the army was to attack. This was achieved by a demon- 
stration on March 2nd, when the battalion suffered five 
casualties. During this month 98 men were detained 
with malaria, and 58 were evacuated to the field hospital ; 
and in April the number sent to hospital had increased to 
80, including 1 officer. 

On May 15th Major Villiers-Stuart, who had been in 
command of the battalion since August 1st, 1916, was 
appointed to command the 7th Oxford and Bucks L.I. 
He was succeeded by Lieut. -Colonel E. M. Baker, who had 
charge of the operations against the Ferdie outpost sector. 
The spring campaigning season was almost at an end. The 
growing number of malaria cases proved that the troops 
must be moved to the hills if they were to be retained as 
effective soldiers ; but the enemy were in a position to 
hamper the withdrawal, and accordingly, in order to mis- 
lead the Bulgars, an attack was made against the trench 
system guarding the approach to Spatovo, the sentinel 
of the Rupel Pass. The battalion were assembled at 
6.15 p.m. on the night of the 15th. In ten minutes' time 
the bombardment began, and five minutes later the 
Fusiliers advanced, No. 4 Company being on the right and 
No. 3 on the left. Under cover of the barrage, the men 
reached the enemy wire, passed through where it had been 
cut in the preliminary bombardment, and occupied the 
front trenches with little opposition. No. 4 Company 



266 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

captured five men and one machine gun. In half an 
hour the troops had secured these successes, reorganised 
and resumed their advance. Further trenches were 
secured, and more prisoners ; and at 7.20, covering parties 
having been put out 150 yards in front of the advanced 
positions, wiring and consolidation began. Two small 
attacks were made on these trenches at 9.45 p.m. and 
midnight, but they were broken up by Lewis-gun and rifle 
fire. Two hours later a more determined counter-attack, 
supported by artillery, machine guns and a trench mortar, 
was made upon the right. The Bulgars on this occasion 
fought their way to the wire, but were then driven off 
by Lewis-gun and rifle fire, leaving nine dead. In the 
morning the enemy guns were found to be registering on 
the new British positions, and at 3 p.m. in the afternoon 
officer patrols made reconnaissances of the ground in front 
of the new line. The next group of trenches was found 
to be evacuated. From the beginning of these operations 
57 unwounded men and 2 wounded prisoners had been 
captured, as against a total battalion casualty list of 40. 
Captain J. E. French and Lieutenant R. L. G. May and 
2 other officers were wounded, and 3 other ranks 
were killed. 

On May 17th another strong patrol was sent forward. 
A bombing encounter followed, and the Fusiliers retired 
in face of superior numbers, having lost 4 other ranks 
killed and 18 wounded. The new positions were now 
finally consolidated ; and on May 26th the battalion were 
relieved, and marched back to Orljak, west of the Struma. 
On June 8th they relieved the 5th Connaught Rangers on 
the Elisan-Dolap fine, south and slightly east of Barakli- 
Djuma, and were employed on dismantling the outpost 
line. This was actually evacuated on the 13th, and the 
battalion marched to Tureka. The malaria cases increased 
during the next few months, and in September they had 
reached the heavy total of 159. 

During October the troops were moved once more to the 
lower ground from which they had been withdrawn in 



THE STRUMA CROSSED, OCTOBER, 1917 267 

May. The battalion crossed the Struma and occupied 
Yenikoi on the 13th, and on the 21st Tupolova. But in 
this case the Fusiliers had to fall back in front of superior 
forces. This village lies near the Salonika-Constantinople 
railway, and on the 26th a patrol reached Kalendra, south- 
east of Tupolova. On November 1st Captain Woolfe led 
a patrol into Kalendra again, and on this occasion encoun- 
tered a strong Bulgar party. The Fusiliers had to retire 
after a brisk exchange, in which they lost one killed. 
Three days later an observation post at the Belica brook, 
which runs for some distance west of, and roughly parallel 
to, the railway, was cut off. Seven men were lost in this 
mishap ; but one, though wounded, made his way back 
to the line through another brigade. A third raid was 
made on Kalendra on December 5th. This time the 
village was found to be unoccupied ; but a Bulgar patrol 
was encountered as the Fusiliers were leaving, and two 
prisoners (wounded) were taken. These local raids were 
the order of the day of many months yet, before the 
troops were ready for major operations. 

A memorable event in the new year was the inspection 
of the battalion by the King of Greece on February 9th, 
1918. On May nth Lieutenant F. Parker and Lieutenant 
A. F. Balding, with a patrol of 30 other ranks, went out to 
Cakli station to intercept a Bulgar patrol. The station 
was found to be occupied by between 40 and 50 Bulgars. 
In the fighting which ensued Lieutenant Parker was 
wounded, and two scouts were cut off. On his return to 
the line Lieutenant Balding had his party made up to 
50 strong, and a search was made for the missing scouts, 
but without success. 

This was the last engagement of the 3rd Battalion in the 
Balkans. The unhealthy season was approaching again, 
and the advanced outpost line was being dismantled once 
more preparatory to a withdrawal to the higher ground. 
On June 1st the withdrawal to the summer positions was 
carried out. But by this time the Germans had seriously 
weakened our army in France by the March-April often- 



268 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

sive, and the British battalions abroad were, as far as 
possible, being quietly sent to France. The 3rd Battalion 
were soon under orders. On July 3rd they embarked on 
the French transport Timgrad for Taranto, which they 
reached on the following day. At 6.30 p.m. of the same 
day they entrained for Sergueux, France, travelling by the 
east coast route, Bari, Foggia, and so on along the Riviera 
to Cannes. There on July 8th they bathed in the sea, 
and entraining later in the day, reached Sergueux at 
6.30 p.m. on the 9th. They had been absent almost three 
years in a theatre where the worst enemy was disease. 



CHAPTER XV 



EAST AFRICA 



The 25th Royal Fusiliers arrived at Mombasa, in British 
East Africa, on May 6th, 1915, and went at once to the 
military post, Kajiado, on the Uganda railway. Half of 
the battalion then went to Nairobi, the capital of the 
colony, for two months' training ; and the other half, split 
up into small bodies, was dotted about as outposts. Their 
work was the protection of the railway line from raiding 
parties, and up to the end of the year it never ceased to be 
necessary. 

Bukoba. — On June 19th this part of the battalion was 
assembled and moved to the Victoria Nyanza in pre- 
paration for a raid on Bukoba, on the south-western shores. 
The boundary between British and German East Africa 
cut the lake into two parts ; and Bukoba, lying within 
German territory, was the centre of all the raiding activity 
on the Uganda frontier. With ample stores and a power- 
ful wireless installation, it was an important base of 
German activity. About 400 strong, the detachment of 
the 25th Battalion detrained at Kisumu, the terminus of 
the Uganda railway, and on the 22nd sailed across the 
lake with the rest of the small force. At sundown on the 
second day Bukoba was sighted, and a night attack was 
planned. Three Fusiliers were to have overpowered a 
sentry at the landing place. But when at midnight the 
ships drew in, a sudden burst of rockets showed that all 
hope of a surprise was out of the question, and the ships 
drew off and waited for the dawn. 

The main attack was made from the north ; and the 
troops landing there found themselves faced with the task 
of climbing a steep, cliff-like incline. It was fortunate 



270 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

that no opposition was attempted at this point. But a 
vigorous resistance was encountered when the battalion 
attempted to cross the rocky ground, at the southern foot 
of the hill, towards Bukoba. The black powder used by 
the Germans made the smoke-puffs clearly defined, and 
outlined their position. But it was late afternoon before 
it could be cleared, and then the weary men summoned 
their last resources of energy and charged up the opposite 
slope, from which the town was commanded. The sudden 
darkness gave the enemy a respite, and at the same time 
added a further burden to the troops, who slept as they 
could without food. 

During the final advance on the following day a heavy 
thunderstorm imposed another pause on the operations ; 
and when the battle was resumed it was a body of men 
soaked to the skin, and with rifles out of action through the 
downpour and the mud, who broke down the last resistance 
and entered Bukoba. The wireless installation was blown 
up, ammunition and stores destroyed ; and at sundown 
on the 24th the men re-embarked and returned to Kisumu. 
It was one of the few incidents which were wholly satis- 
factory during the campaign. 

Patrols. — The patrol work was nervous and respon- 
sible. The Germans were full of initiative, and did not 
hesitate to take risks where the objective seemed to 
justify it ; and in these vast spaces a small force might 
move for days without notice. In August, 1915, the 
battalion had their headquarters at Voi, in the eastern 
part of British East Africa, about fifty-five miles north of 
the frontier. Two companies lay at Maktau, to the west, 
much nearer the frontier ; and about half a company were 
operating along the coast. A small body of mounted 
infantry had been got together at Maktau, and about 50 
of the battalion were lent to them. On September 3rd 
a party of the unit marched into an ambush, the inevitable 
accompaniment of warfare in such a country, and the 
Germans closed in on the little band. Lieutenant Wilbur 
Dartnell, of the 25th Battalion, was wounded in the leg, 



LIEUT. DARTNELL'S HEROISM 271 

and was being carried away when he noticed the serious- 
ness of the situation. The badly wounded could not all 
be removed ; and, knowing that the black troops mur- 
dered the wounded, he insisted on being left in the hope 
of saving the others. He was twice asked to leave, and 
at length directly ordered that the men should abandon 
him. When he was last seen the Germans were within 
twenty-five yards of his post. He fought to the end in 
defence of his fellows, and WctS awarded a well-merited post- 
humous V. C . He had only 1 with the mounted infantry 
two days, and it was but tw iys before the enemy party 
was itself ambushed and left 31 dead on the field. 

Advance to Kahe. — So the year wore on to the close. 
The Fusiliers covered the extension of the line from 
Maktau towards the German frontier, and kept the area 
of their activity in a reasonable state of security. Troops 
arrived from South Africa in January, 1916, and on 
March 5th 450 officers and men of the battalion joined 
General Stewart's column, which was to move round the 
west of Kilimanjaro, while van Deventer marched to 
meet it at the German town oi Moschi. After a long and 
wearisome march, fortunately little molested by the 
enemy, the troops arrived in the rear of the German 
positions and marched into Moschi, which had already 
been taken. After three days' rest the battalion moved 
southward to take part in the operations against Kahe. 
About 5 p.m. on March 2, h a brisk engagement deve- 
loped. After a hot and trying march the men were having 
a bathe near Store when suddenly shots were opened on 
them. One of them bolted as he was, and encountering 
the general and the colonel in a condition which hardly 
made for dignity, was forced to give a report of the situa- 
tion. The firing suddenly died down, but three hours 
later the enemy advanced in force. Twenty times they 
charged and almost forced their way into the entrenched 
line, but at length they were beaten off with heavy loss. 

On the following day another action was fought a few 
miles away at the Soko Nassai River. The enemy were 



272 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

entrenched at the defile where the river joins the Defu ; 
and the Germans fought not only gallantly, but skilfully. 
The machine guns were excellently placed and well served, 
and the battle ranged from early morning to nightfall. 
The Germans moved off under cover of darkness. Van 
Deventer, who had taken Moschi, had now captured 
Kahe station, and nothing remained for the enemy but 
retreat. 

To Handeni. — After a short rest the Fusiliers again 
moved ahead, marching southward to the east of the 
Pangani River, while other columns marched along the 
railway line, and so cleared the richest, healthiest, and 
most populous part of the German colony. The route 
of the battalion literally involved " hacking through." 
The bush was so thick that small parties had to be sent 
ahead to clear away. Progress under such conditions 
was neither rapid nor pleasant but, as speed was necessary 
for the success of General Smuts' plan, the battalion 
frequently trekked all night. They became so weary at 
times that they marched like automata, practically 
asleep. A sudden halt had much the same effect as the 
checking of an express train. Food began to be short, 
owing to transport difficulties. The fearful monotony 
of it sank into insignificance. 

On the last day of May, 1916, they reached Buiko, 
where the Pangani runs south some miles towards Han- 
deni, after a trek of 145 miles in thirteen days. The main 
body of the enemy had passed through the village, and 
on June 9th the British column started once more. They 
now left the railway which the Pangani meets at Buiko, 
and marched south for the Central railway. On the 15th 
they left the river and followed the trolley line. The 
following day they were at Gitu, to the north-west, and 
on the 17th arrived at Ssangeni, west of Handeni, on the 
great caravan road. 

Kwa Direma. — On June 22nd the column started south 
once more. Smuts' plan aimed at cutting off the enemy, 
as had been done in South- West Africa, by the operation 



BATTLE OF KWA DIREMA, JUNE 24TH 273 

of a number of swiftly moving columns. The alternative 
to envelopment was withdrawal, but the consummate 
skill with which the German commander put off his retire- 
ment to the last possible moment and compelled the British 
to suffer every disadvantage of operating in such a country 
dragged on the campaign to the end of the war. The Ger- 
mans were first to be denied the use of the Central railway, 




Sketch Map of German East Africa. 

The faint dotted line shows the route of the 25th Royal 
Fusiliers to the Rufigi. 

and the Fusiliers formed part of one of the columns 
destined to cut this artery. On the 24th, after a practi- 
cally continuous march of over twenty-four hours, they 
went into battle at Kwa Direma, on the Lukigura. They 
attacked at 4.30 p.m. 

Utter weariness made them intolerant of opposition ; 
and before dark they stormed the position, Major 
White leading A and D Companies in a fierce bayonet 



274 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

charge. Among the captures were a i-inch Krupp gun 
and three machine guns. The enemy were posted so as 
to command a bridge across the river, and were taken by- 
surprise. They had barely time to redirect the guns ; and 
Colonel Driscoll, seeing that delay was dangerous, obtained 
permission to rush the position. The battle was over in 
less than half an hour ; and, despite the hail of bullets 
which tore the trees and shrubs to pieces, the battalion 
only lost 3 killed and 18 wounded. The Askari, who 
fought with such remarkable courage, were unable to 
stand the bayonet, and they lost 25 killed and 28 wounded. 
Three whites were also killed, and 13 wounded. The 
battalion were warmly congratulated by the general, and 
their spirit after such a march was indeed wonderful. 
Some days were spent at Kwa Direma, where mails were 
received, an infrequent occurrence. 

On July 7th the battalion moved south to Makindu, on 
the edge of the Ngura hills, and rested there for a month. 
The rest was very welcome, for this splendid body of men, 
who, number for number, could hardly have been sur- 
passed for physique in any army, had dwindled from 
nearly 1,200 to less than 200. Long marches on rations 
which were intolerably monotonous and short, and with 
malaria almost invariably lurking ready to seize its 
victims, had taken their toll. At Makindu the enemy lay 
near, and the Fusiliers were shelled almost immediately 
on arrival with guns removed from the Konigsberg. But 
for the most part their stay there was restful, and some 
six-months-old letters marked a welcome break in the 
operations. On August 9th the Fusiliers assisted in 
clearing the Ruhungu position, a region of hill and bush 
country, of the enemy, who had turned it into a strong- 
hold. Lying on the left rear, it threatened the communica- 
tions, and the time had come to resume the advance. 

To the Railway. — Every bridge had been blown up 
on the line of advance, and weary nights were spent in re- 
constructing them. The battalion marched by Turiani 
and Dakawa, on the Wami River, and then turned east- 



HALT AT KISSAKI, AUTUMN, 1916 275 

ward to cut the railway on the flank of Morogoro. This 
was achieved on August 28th, and within a week the 
eastern terminus at Dar-es-Salaam had also fallen. Moro- 
goro was some 350 miles from the point of departure of 
the battalion ; but, though the railway was soon com- 
pletely in allied hands, the enemy still remained at large. 
They had escaped by an unknown road through the hills, 
and the advance had to be continued. 

Kissaki. — On August 31st the battalion marched south 
once more in the central of the three columns operating in 
the Uluguru area. They moved by a " zigzag, well- 
engineered road cut out of the steep hillsides in pre-war 
days at the expense of gigantic labour." * This was the 
unknown road by which the Germans had escaped. The 
scenery through which the men were now moving was very 
beautiful, but the conditions of the march were even more 
trying. On one day no rations at all were received, and 
the strain of long marching in blazing sun on insufficient 
food provided a heavy ambulance population. Some 
days 5, sometimes even 10, per cent, of these hard-bitten 
troops collapsed and had to be carried back. At Magali 
on September 5th the troops had the satisfaction of de- 
stroying the elaborate observation post from which the 
naval guns had been directed, and three days later had a 
small skirmish at Mwuha. Tulo was found deserted, with 
every appearance of disorder. The battalion had a few 
days' rest here, and some of the huntsmen filled up the 
larder for the moment. But the columns had outmarched 
the commissariat, and weary months of delay followed. 
On September 30th the Fusiliers moved to Kissaki, on the 
Mgeta River, there to remain for about three months. 

Behobeho. — Despite the hardship of marching under 
such conditions, the battalion were consumed with impa- 
tience at the delay, and the only relief was elephant hunt- 
ing. At this time the battalion had dwindled to about 
60 before reinforcements arrived. Selous, returning on 

* " Three Years of War in East Africa," by Captain Angus Buchanan, 
M.C., p. 127. 

T 2 



276 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

December 16th from England, where he had been invalided, 
brought 150 of these with him. He was sixty-five years 
of age at this time, and this return to the front after an 
enforced absence through sickness stands out as remark- 
able even in a remarkable man. Its effect on the Fusiliers 
was very noticeable. 

Checked by the weakness in the ever-lengthening line 
of communications, the column was now immobilised in 
December by heavy rains. On January 1st, 1917, the 
Fusiliers took part in the attack on the Mgeta position, 
which in the end was almost surrounded. About mid- 
night on January 2nd the battalion halted below Wiransi, 
only to find that their resting-place was an encampment 
of fighting ants. It is a striking testimony to the men's 
weariness that, after much swearing, they dropped off to 
sleep in the midst of their enemies. In this part of the 
march the Fusiliers had been sent out to the west of the 
main advance, and before dawn on January 4th they 
turned eastwards towards Behobeho to cut off fugitives 
from the main column. Very few were encountered, and 
the battalion marched to a ridge north of the settlement. 
The reflection of the sun from the white gravel proved a 
terrible experience even for men who had long experience 
of tropical suns, and sniping from the adjacent trees 
made the position costly. It was while commanding his 
company in attack on this occasion that Selous was killed. 
He was a striking figure, and his loss was felt. The enemy 
were well entrenched, and when Selous fell Lieutenant 
Dutch took over the command of the company, and, 
though soon riddled with bullets, continued to direct the 
attack while being attended to. He was carried back to 
Dakawa, and died two days later. 

The position was taken. Behobeho was occupied, and 
the bank of the Rufigi. But the rains were at hand. The 
battalion were marched back to Morogoro, and then went 
to the Cape for three months' rest. On May 12th, 1917, 
this very welcome break came to an end, and the battalion 
left Cape Town en route for Lindi. When the battalion 



BATTLE OF ZIWANI, JUNE iith, 1917 277 

had left German East Africa, the enemy had been driven 
into the unhealthy region south of the Rufigi. They were 
now to be driven from the country altogether. In the 
strategy of converging columns, which had proved itself 
successful, the last phase of the fighting would take place 
in the south-eastern part of the colony. Columns were 
striking from the Rufigi and from Kilwa, and the Fusiliers 
formed part of the Lindi column operating near the Portu- 
guese frontier. 

Ziwani . — Lindi was reached at the beginning of June, and 
on the night of the 10th the battalion, with three machine 
guns, were placed in two lighters and towed eight miles 
up a creek to the head of the delta by motor launch. " We 
landed in a swamp past the enemy's lines and made our 
way inland. By 7.30 a.m. we had covered about twelve 
miles of ground, and came up behind and against their 
main position in dense bush and bush-covered valleys and 
ridges ; somewhere inside of all this they had a 4-inch naval 
gun with which they used to bombard the town. They 
knew we had landed, as shots had been exchanged with 
their scouts in the darkness. The path we followed led 
into a swamp belt in the valley between us and the enemy, 
and from various hidden places on the enemy's ridge 
machine guns and rifles opened fire on our advance guard. 
We immediately took up a position in the bush with our 
main body and called in the advance guard. Meanwhile 
they kept up continuous rifle and machine-gun fire, and 
we sustained a few casualties, but did not fire a single shot 
in return. In about two hours they were all round, and 
still our men lay low and silent. About noon they started 
a terrific fusillade from all round ; and on one flank three 
machine guns and a considerable force crept up within 
thirty paces, under cover of the bush, and opened a 
terrific fire. Our three machine guns moved at once to 
that side, and engaged them at close quarters, twenty-five 
to thirty paces, putting one of theirs out of action imme- 
diately. For an hour the noise of firing was deafening. 
Then, having reinforced the company nearest to the main 



278 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

attack, we made a bayonet charge through the bush, 
which caused them to retire, and we captured the three 
machine guns. Two of them proved to be British guns 
taken from our people early in the war. Next morning, 
finding a better path, we pushed forward, only to find they 
had disappeared from their positions, abandoning all their 
stores, workshops, etc., and they had removed their big 
gun through the valleys by a cleverly constructed and 
hidden trolley line. They have vanished from the dis- 
trict entirely. During the fight the bees came for us in 
swarms and stung us badly. I saw some of the men 
running round not caring a penny for the bullets, but try- 
ing to beat off the bees." * 

In this engagement the battalion lost 20 killed and 
wounded, including Captain Robinson. It was his first 
battle, and his gallantry and coolness were remarkable. 
In the letter already quoted a strange coincidence was 
remarked. In the action at Kwa Direma the Royal Fusi- 
liers had captured three guns. One, a German gun, lacked 
its feed block, and the substitute never acted satisfac- 
torily. When the guns captured at Ziwani were being 
examined, one of them was found to have the missing 
feed block, which had been adapted to a British gun. 

Tandamuti. — After this battle it was thought neces- 
sary to wait until the column from Kilwa could co- 
operate, and the battalion spent the next six weeks at 
Lindi. Captain Buchanan established an outpost on the 
north-west approach to Lindi, but the twenty-four days 
spent on this work were without incident. In the first 
days of August the enemy were holding a strong position 
on the left bank of the Lukuledi River, five or six miles 
south-west of the site of the battle of Ziwani and on the 
Ziwani ridge. Its southern flank lay on Tandamuti hill. 
The battalion moved out against this position on the night 
of August 2nd, and came into contact with the enemy 
about 6 a.m. on the 3rd. Two companies of Fusiliers 

* Extract from a letter from an officer of the 25th Battalion pub- 
lished in the Frontiersman, War Number, 191 8. 



LAST BATTLE OF THE 25TH BATTALION 279 

reinforced the King's African Rifles in the attack on the hill 
fortifications. A gallant charge brought the men to a 
dense thorn obstacle, and they had to withdraw under 
intense fire. Some fifty yards away the machine guns 
and Stokes guns opened a galling fire, and at 3.30 p.m. 
the enemy's reply had ceased. At this moment, when 
the enemy were retiring, the battalion were ordered to fall 
back. The British had fared badly on the rest of the 
battle front. The Fusiliers found Germans in their rear, 
and had to fight a brisk skirmish to open up the way to 
Ziwani. On the 10th the position was occupied without 
opposition after the monitors Mersey and Severn had 
heavily bombarded the hill. 

Narunyu. — On August 18th the Fusiliers marched out 
with the 1/2 King's African Rifles to attack Narunyu, 
about twenty miles south-west of Lindi. They moved 
north, then west, and then south, to take the position from 
the west. Near the hill overlooking Narunyu the King's 
African Rifles were heavily engaged, and the Fusiliers at 
once formed with them a hollow square. It was as well 
they had taken the precaution, for very soon they were 
attacked from all sides. In this confined position they 
fought for five days, with very little water, no cooked 
food and hardly any undisturbed rest. On the night of 
August 22nd they were ordered to retire, and did so under 
cover of darkness. The battalion, as usual, were really 
suffering more from the terrible climate than from the 
enemy. On September 4th they took over the front line 
at Narunyu from the 8th South African Infantry, who 
were suffering still more. About six weeks later the 
Kilwa and Lindi columns joined hands, and another action 
was fought in the Lukuledi Valley on August 18th. In 
this action the troops found themselves suddenly con- 
fronted by an overwhelming body of the enemy, and in 
covering a temporary retirement the Fusiliers were cut 
to pieces. 

In many ways this was a supremely fitting ending of the 
25th Battalion's work in Africa. The enemy were at their 



280 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

last blow. Six weeks later Von Lettow was over the 
frontier, and before the end of the year the colony was 
clear of Germans. It was the Royal Fusiliers' last action. 
They had sprung into existence quite suddenly ; they 
passed cleanly when the work was done. A romantic 
body of adventurers, they desired no better fate. Colonel 
Driscoll, their commander, had a genius for the sort of 
warfare which filled this campaign. Swift in decision, 
resolute, ingenious and experienced, he directed his 
battalion with marked ability, and the 25th won for itself 
great fame in the most trying campaign of the war. 




Major-General Sir Sydney Lawford, K.C.B., who commanded 

THE 22ND BRIGADE, AND LATER THE 4 1ST DIVISION. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE HUNDRED DAYS — FIRST BATTLES 

The German offensive had spent itself for the time being 
at the end of April, but the British Army had been 
seriously weakened numerically and strategically. Every 
effort was strained to make good the grave impairment of 
the Allied positions by the loss of the full use of the impor- 
tant junctions of Amiens, Bethune and Hazebrouck, which 
had been brought under the effective fire of the enemy's 
guns ; and incessant labour was applied to the construction 
of a new defensive system. Between April and August 
these were the most important preoccupations of the British 
Army ; and to such purpose were their energies directed 
that at the end of the period over 200 miles of broad gauge 
track had been laid, and " a complete series of new defen- 
sive lines had been built, involving the digging of 5,000 
miles of trench." Apart from these labours, the period 
saw many operations of a minor character, and witnessed 
a definite and significant change as the inevitable phase 
of active defence approached its close. 

Though the Royal Fusiliers delivered numerous raids, 
in only one of the minor operations mentioned in Sir 
Douglas Haig's despatches did any of them figure. Many 
of them shared one experience which will not easily be 
forgotten. An epidemic of influenza played havoc with 
the troops in June. Thus between the 16th and 21st June 
inclusive some yy officers and men of the 1st Battalion 
went sick, and other Royal Fusilier battalions also had 
a sick-rate that began to resemble the malaria inroads in 
the Balkans. 

The Lys. — In the attack of June 3rd, when the Mont de 
Merris was captured, the 2nd Battalion co-operated by 



282 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

capturing Lug Farm. Major Tower and Second Lieutenant 
Stokes went out after dark on the night of June 2nd and 
taped the assembly positions. The attack was delivered 
by Y Company, commanded by Second Lieutenant W. E. 
Stokes, at i a.m., and in twenty-seven minutes the capture 
of the farm was signalled. Fifteen prisoners were taken, 
and a considerable amount of equipment. The position 
was consolidated by daylight, and was improved on the 
following night, when the Lewis-gun posts were pushed out 
eastwards to conform to the general alignment. The 
small operation, which was carried out with great rapidity 
and at a small cost, won the congratulations of the corps, 
divisional and brigade commanders. The latter wrote : 
" It upholds the finest traditions of your regiment." 

On the night of June 14th another operation took place 
in the Lys area. The 4th Battalion were still lying on the 
southern face of the salient made by the German advance, 
and the purpose of the attack was to secure better positions 
across the canal. The ground was open, and the chances 
of success depended upon the possibility of securing the 
advantage of complete surprise. It was accordingly 
planned to strike at night and without preliminary bom- 
bardment. Dumps of material for consolidation and two 
days' rations were accumulated across the canal in case 
the enemy's barrage should prevent movement across it ; 
and after dark on the night of the 14th the position of 
the canal foot bridges was changed. 

The 4th Royal Fusiliers with three platoons of the 
Northumberland Fusiliers represented the 9th Brigade 
on the right of the attack, and there were two other 
battalions of the 3rd Division on their left. Zero 
was at 11.45 p.m., and the barrage was intense and 
accurate. It lifted after about eight minutes, and the 
battalion advanced, X Company (Captain Mabbott, 
M.C.) being on the left, and Z (Captain Lord, D.S.O., M.C.) 
on the right, with W (Captain Attewell) in support to both 
companies. Advancing in three shallow columns, wearing 
white armlets, the men quickly reached their objective. 



SUCCESSFUL RAIDS, JULY, 1918 283 

On the extreme left of the battalion Lieutenant Brasher's 
platoon was held up for a time before a machine-gun post, 
but the garrison were eventually bombed out. One 
platoon of Y Company, under Second Lieutenant B. D. 
Robertson, with two platoons of the Northumberland 
Fusiliers, attacked and cleared two posts in the German 
front line. By dawn the objective had been taken and 
consolidated. The line had been lifted forward an average 
distance of 500 yards, support posts had been dug (by W 
Company), about 60 prisoners and 7 machine guns had 
been taken, and the battalion were in touch with the units 
on both flanks. The total casualties were 3 officers and 
94 other ranks. But the operation had been very success- 
ful, and the battalion received the congratulations of the 

divisional commander. 

* * * * 

During the month of July the 7th Battalion were 
exceptionally active and daring in their raids. They were 
still in the Mailly area, and their raids were instrumental 
in causing the whole divisional front to be advanced. A 
raiding party on the night of July 4th did considerable 
damage in the German front line, killed 5 and captured 4 
of the enemy for a casualty list of 1 wounded. Sergeant 
West became separated from the main body of the patrol. 
He had taken a prisoner, and the two wandered about in 
No Man's Land. They were completely lost, but West 
stuck to his prisoner and at length brought him in to the 
Drake Battalion. West was awarded the M.M. for this 
exploit. This and further raids during the month won 
the congratulations of the G.O.C. division, and the front 
of the division was carried forward about 400 yards. On 
July 27th, when the new forward positions had been taken 
up, the battalion received the following message : " The 
divisional commander is extremely pleased with the good 
patrolling work done by the 7th Battalion Royal Fusiliers 
during their last tour of duty in the trenches, which reflects 
great credit on the officers and other ranks concerned. He 
is also pleased with the manner in which this battalion 



284 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

advanced their line and occupied the forward posts in the 
vicinity of Hamel on the night of 22nd — 23rd, which was 
also very creditable." 

The men had never lost their spirit even in the darkest 
moments, and this increased activity and growing success 
on various parts of the front indicated the approach to 
equilibrium through the waning of the German superiority. 
Some excitement was caused when, on the 29th July, the 
C.O. of the 2nd Battalion received a wire stating that the 
French had captured 500,000 prisoners and 600 guns. 
The battalion were enjoying a concert during a period of 
training. No one knew whence the news had come, but 
it seemed appropriate and obviously acceptable, so it was 
read out. It was discovered later that the signallers had 
been sending a test wire ! But these were days when 
such stories appeared good enough to be true. General 
Mangin had delivered the great counter-attack which, 
threatening the German communications in the Marne 
salient, compelled a retreat under risky conditions. The 
plans for the attack destined to disengage Amiens were 
soon to be put to the test. 

The Battle of Amiens. — The share of the Royal 
Fusiliers in the great battle that first, beyond all ambi- 
guity, marked the turn of the tide, is apt to be overlooked, 
sharing in the quite undeserved criticism that has been 
applied to the work of the 3rd Corps on this occasion. 
By an unfortunate coincidence the Germans anticipated 
the advance of the 3rd Corps, and the nth Royal Fusiliers 
lost very heavily in this undesigned prelude to the Fourth 
Army advance. A reorganisation of the sector north of 
the Somme was in progress in the early morning of 
August 6th when the Germans suddenly attacked. This 
part of the front had been the scene of a striking Australian 
victory on July 29th, and the fresh 27th Wurttemberg 
Division had been brought down from the Lille area to 
restore the moral of the neighbouring troops by a sharp 
local attack. To the normal difficulties of a relief were 
added those of a side-stepping relief. The Bedfordshires 



GERMAN A1TACK, AUGUST 6th 285 

were relieved by troops of the 58th Division, and they 
themselves were engaged in relieving the East Surreys 
lying to the north. The attack in such circumstances was 
assured of success ; and, in fact, it penetrated about half 
a mile into the British positions and secured 200 prisoners. 
This was not the worst of the attack, for it had changed 
the starting point of the infantry and also the artillery 
programme for August 8th. An attempt was therefore 
made to restore the original situation, though even this 
prejudiced the battle of Amiens by exhausting troops who 
were to have taken part in the advance. 

During the night of 6th — 7th a persistent drizzle fell, 
and the trenches were filled with mud. The counter- 
attack was delivered by two companies of the nth Royal 
Fusiliers, north of the Bray road, with one company each 
of the Bedfords and Northants, of the same brigade. 
But misfortune continued faithful. B Company, on the 
left of the nth Battalion, could not locate the unit on their 
left, and the gap of 300 yards in this part of the front had 
to be filled up by two platoons. The whole plan was 
vitiated by this mischance. When the barrage opened at 
4.40 a.m. the company had 300 yards of front more than 
had been allocated to them. An attempt to advance with 
two platoons proved a failure, and the men returned 
without taking the objective. In effect they filled the 
role which had been given to a company of the East 
Surreys on the left. D Company, in command of Captain 
P. Baker, had meanwhile captured their objective. 

But the barrage died down at 5.10 a.m., and at 6 o'clock 
four attacks were delivered by the Wurttemberg troops. 
All of these were beaten off, but one platoon, having ex- 
hausted their bombs, had to fall back. The enemy gained 
a footing in Cloncurry Trench, the German front line, 
and began to bomb down it. Private Maloney's Lewis 
gun had been knocked out by a direct hit from a trench 
mortar ; but after a search he discovered another, and 
promptly bringing it into action, checked the enemy 
advance. Both flanks of D Company were now in the air, 



286 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

but Captain Baker held on until all his bombs were 
exhausted and only three men remained. He was 
wounded, but crawled back and reorganised Croydon 
Trench. Lieutenant Wixcey with two platoons of B 
Company pushed up this trench shortly afterwards and 
recaptured part of Cloncurry Trench. They were working 
north and south when another heavy German attack at 
3 p.m., after a sharp fight, pushed them back. The 
brigade had decided to make a carefully prepared counter- 
attack in the evening, but before this could be rearranged 
officers on the spot delivered a counter-attack, which com- 
pletely exhausted the battalion ; and at the end of the day 
they had to fall back to the original positions. Many were 
the acts of gallantry in this action. Captain Baker was 
awarded the M.C., as also were Second Lieutenants 
Measures and Ross for their courage and skill. Private 
Maloney secured the M.M. But the net effect of the 
gallantry and skill was not to be measured by positions. 
The battalion inflicted heavy loss on the enemy, and 
thus had their part in the success of the morrow 
without the glamour which that victory threw over the 
battle. 

The 9th Royal Fusiliers were lent with their brigade 
to the 1 8th Division to take the place of the 54th Brigade, 
who, as we have seen, had been badly handled on the two 
preceding days. They had had no time for preliminary 
reconnaissance of the ground, and the Somme Valley, with 
its gashes of deep ravines, was pre-eminently an area for 
careful study. The early morning was very misty, and 
with the night's gas bombardment this proved an addi- 
tional handicap. The tanks were rather effectively mixed 
up through these conditions, and the 9th Battalion had to 
attack without them. The battalion were assembled on 
the starting line by 3.30 a.m., but three officers and the 
bulk of two platoons had been placed hors de combat by 
the heavy shelling while moving up. Indeed, the enemy 
expected a counter-attack after their advance on the 6th, 
and the element of surprise was unfortunately lacking on 



ADVANCE ON AUGUST 8th 287 

the sector which most needed some adventitious counter- 
poise to its inherent difficulties. 

Zero was at 4.20 a.m., and the barrage fell ten minutes 
earlier. At this moment the men could see only about 
ten yards ahead owing to the mist. Yet in these condi- 
tions A and B Companies promptly gained the first objec- 
tive, and D and C passed through to the second battalion 
objective, i.e., the first objective for the day. The 53rd 
Brigade then passed through towards their objective, 
assisting in their stride in establishing the units on the first. 
But a prompt German counter-attack drove them back, 
and in the afternoon the 9th Battalion found that they 
were holding the front line. This was a little to the west 
of the first objective of the day ; and in this position the 
battalion consolidated in touch with troops on the right, 
and eventually with the 5th Royal West Kents on the left. 
They had lost 6 officers, including Lieutenant W. E. 
Hill and Second Lieutenants R. T. Eagar and A. Nicholson, 
killed, and 350 other ranks ; but they had captured 300 
prisoners, 30 machine guns, and 8 trench mortars. Taking 
into account the extraordinarily difficult conditions under 
which they attacked, this must be held a very creditable 
performance. 

To the south the 174th Brigade (58th Division) played 
a similar role to that of the nth Royal Fusiliers, and the 
173rd or Fusilier Brigade went through towards the 
second objective of the day. The three battalions were 
all engaged in this phase of the battle. The thick fog 
nearer the river caused the 3rd Londons to lose direction, 
and they became involved in fighting before the 174th 
Brigade had gained their objective. Battalion head- 
quarters pushed forward and attacked the quarry beyond 
Malard Wood. After a sharp struggle they captured 
four machine guns and over 70 prisoners. But when the 
first objective had been captured by the 174th Brigade, the 
3rd Londons were already too weak to go further. The 
2/4th, on the left of the 3rd Londons, fared no better ; and 
a final attack of the 3rd, 2/4 and 2/2 Londons in the 



288 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

evening, though it carried them on to the Chipilly Spur 
could not achieve success. An outpost line was taken 
up during the night. On the following day the attack 
was renewed. At 5.40 p.m. the three battalions moved 
forward again, and captured Celestine Wood and Chipilly 
Spur, north of Chipilly. They were relieved on the 10th, 
by which time they had lost 680 officers and men. On 
this day, while the 3rd Londons were in close support, 
Lieut. -Colonel S. E. Saunders, M.C., was severely wounded, 
a serious loss to the battalion. 

Morlancourt fell on the 9th, and the 9th Royal Fusiliers 
moved to the east of the village to consolidate. At 
10 p.m. on August 10th they too were relieved and moved 
back to the old British front and support lines north-west 
of Morlancourt. 

Further action on this part of the front was of a local 
character. The 9th Battalion on August 13th took part 
in a useful little engagement, which gave their division a 
foothold on the highest part (Hill 105) of the ridge which 
rises above Morlancourt, Dernancourt and Meaulte. The 
attack was delivered at 4.55 a.m., covered by a heavy 
barrage, and was immediately successful. But a German 
counter-attack drove back the 7th Sussex on the Fusiliers' 
right, and the 9th Battalion, retaining their positions, 
swung round their right flank to the original front line, 
where they achieved contact with the Sussex. This small 
engagement cost the 9th Battalion only four casualties, 
all wounded. 

The Battle of Bapaume. — The resistance of the 
enemy in front of the Fourth Army having stiffened, Sir 
Douglas Haig determined to transfer the front of attack 
to the sector north of the Somme, where an attack seemed 
unexpected, and " it was arranged that on the morning of 
the 2 1st August a limited attack should be launched 
north of the Ancre to gain the general line of the Arras- 
Albert railway, on which it was correctly assumed that 
the enemy's main line of resistance was sited."* The 

* Despatch. 



CAPTURE OF ABLAINZEVILLE, AUGUST 2ist 289 

forward positions across the Ancre, including Beaumont- 
Hamel, Serre, Puisieux and Bucquoy, had been evacuated 
a week before. The 13th and 10th Royal Fusiliers formed 
up in the newly recovered ground ; and at 4.55 a.m. the 
13th, lying south-west of Bucquoy, for a loss of only 13 
captured their objectives, which consisted of part of the 
high ground east of Bucquoy and Ablainzeville. 

The 10th Royal Fusiliers had a more eventful day, though 
their right companies, B and D, reached their objectives 
and consolidated within thirty-five minutes. B's role 
was to move south of the village of Ablainzeville, followed 
by D, and assist in cutting off the village from the east. 
The heavy ground mist enabled the men to assemble un- 
observed, and very little opposition was encountered. C and 
A Companies pushed through the village with eight tanks, 
C on the left and A on the right. The latter also had a 
very quiet journey, and cleared their part of the village 
without a casualty. C, on the other hand, was under 
machine-gun fire from the very beginning. The starting 
point lay so near the village that the north-west corner 
escaped the barrage. But after a brisk fight, assisted by 
the tanks, the village was completely cleared, 56 prisoners 
(including 2 officers), six machine guns, and one trench 
mortar were captured. 

In the second stage of the advance the fog proved a 
greater handicap than in the first phase. The leading 
brigades of the 63rd Division who passed through to 
continue the advance became confused. It was difficult 
for the platoons, in artillery formation, to keep in touch. 
The tanks lost their bearings, and when the brigades 
re-formed for attack their barrage had stopped, and they 
were held up. The 7th Royal Fusiliers with the 190th 
Brigade passed through the leading brigades, and with 
some difficulty were able to consolidate positions on a 
line parallel with the southern edge of Logeast Wood. 
But this was not achieved until soon after dark. Mean- 
while the 23rd Royal Fusiliers, starting at zero from before 
Ayette, advanced about 2,000 yards to Aerodrome Trench. 



2Q0 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

At this point the 3rd Division passed through the 2nd, 
and with them went the 4th Royal Fusiliers. The 
battalion had already suffered heavily on the way up to 
assembly positions when in a burst of shell fire they lost 
their CO., Lieut. -Colonel Hartley, severely wounded, 
another officer and 50 other ranks. The whole brigade, 
moreover, found the greatest difficulty in finding their 
positions in the Blue Line, secured by the 2nd Division. 
By a diligent use of the compass they at length arrived, 
after reducing a few machine-gun posts on the way. 
For the next stage of the advance the 4th Battalion were 
in the rear of the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, the right 
battalion of the 3rd Division. 

Very little opposition was encountered in reaching the 
railway, but in the 2,500 yards between it and the Blue 
Line the utmost difficulty was experienced in keeping 
touch with the other units. The 4th Battalion com- 
pletely lost the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, and 
advancing by compass, marched direct upon the railway, 
which they reached before the " leading " battalion. 
They were then lying some 2,000 yards east of the north- 
east corner of Logeast Wood. But the 63rd Division 
had not come up on their right. The right front (Y, 
Captain Royle, M.C.) and support (Z, Lieutenant Evans) 
companies both lost their commanders ; and Lieutenant 
F. A. Hicks, M.C. was also killed. By 10.20 a.m. the 
Northumberland Fusiliers were signalling that the railway 
crossings were fit for whippets. The position was estab- 
lished and consolidated, with the Northumberlands* right 
flank drawn back from the railway towards Logeast Wood. 

The 4th Royal Fusiliers were now drawn back to 
support. During the following day several attacks were 
delivered on the new positions, and shortly after noon 
the Germans pushed into the gap between the right of 
the 3rd Division and the left of the 63rd Division. The 
7th Royal Fusiliers found their position turned, and there 
was a fierce struggle before the gap was filled and the 
original line restored. The day was very hot, and the 



THE CROSSING OF THE ANCRE 291 

7th Battalion suffered much from lack of water and small 
arm ammunition. The expenditure of ammunition was 
very heavy, and the arrangements for supply by aeroplane 
did not work very well. Some was dropped in No Man's 
Land, some in Logeast Wood, where it could not be found. 
At one point the battalion had to borrow 3,000 rounds 
from the Bedfords, and at 6 p.m. the brigade supplied 
20,000 rounds. 

Of the heavy casualties suffered in these two days 
the bulk in the 2nd Division units were caused by 
gas. The 17th Royal Fusiliers, who were in support, 
had 92 casualties from this cause, and the 23rd Battalion 
lost 14 officers and 369 men. Gas does not seem to have 
proved so terrible a weapon to other units ; and this, with 
the strange differences of movement and achievement 
among the troops, goes to round off an attack which, 
though successful in the main, reads like failure in the 
detailed experience of many of the battalions who carried 
it out. 

But on this day, August 22nd, the attack was extended 
according to plan. The Third Army advance had brought 
their front forward to positions before Achiet le Grand and 
along the north bank of the Ancre. The action of August 
22nd on the Fourth Army front was designed to bring 
forward their left in preparation for a joint attack of both 
armies on August 23rd. The enemy had to be driven out 
of his positions in and around Albert, and the nth Royal 
Fusiliers were involved in the capture of the ground 
between Meaulte and Albert. They had first to cross the 
Ancre, and the trestle bridges made by the R.E. were 
placed in position on the night of August 21st. It was 
bright moonlight, and many of the men seemed to regard 
the undertaking as a joke. As a consequence the atten- 
tion of the enemy was aroused, and the men came under a 
heavy machine-gun fire. Private F. G. Hughes, finding 
one of the bridges could not be placed for this reason, 
jumped into the river and pulled the bridge into position, 
despite the concentrated fire from three machine guns. 

u a 



292 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

The patrols anticipated the barrage, and seizing * a foot- 
hold on the Albert-Meaulte road above Vivier Mill, 
enabled the nth Battalion to cross the Ancre and form 
up on this road. In front of them lay a belt of marshy 
ground which, outside a few paths, was quite impassable- 
Frequently the men had to wade with the water up to 
their hips, and Sergeant Ryan, seeing two platoons held 
up in the marsh, went back under an intense fire and 
guided them by a path to the German position. C.S.M. 
Balchin reorganised his company under similar conditions, 
and headed the assault on the first position. Wounded 
men were in danger of drowning ; but the gallantry of 
Private C. Smith, in charge of the stretcher-bearers, saved 
many by repeatedly crossing the treacherous ground, 
despite the enemy's fire. The battalion, through these 
and other acts of cool courage, carried their front to about 
500 yards east of Bellevue Farm, with their left bent back 
to Black Wood. Until the brigade on their left got 
through Albert no further progress could be made, and 
the battalion were relieved in these positions. 

A little to the south the 9th Royal Fusiliers went for- 
ward on a front of 1,000 yards to a depth of 2,500 yards, 
keeping pace on their left with the 5th Royal Berks, who 
captured and cleared up Meaulte. The 9th Royal Fusiliers, 
with an easier task, overcame the resistance in their front 
readily, and for a total casualty list of 83 captured 100 
prisoners, twelve machine guns and four trench mortars. 
Unfortunately among the casualties were Lieutenant H. A. 
Kilmister, Second Lieutenant L. F. Wade, and Second 
Lieutenant A. H. King killed ; and the experience of the 
day proved the need of officers. 

Bullecourt. — On the following day the main attack 
was launched as far north as Mercatel, and by the end of 
the month the British positions on this front had changed 
remarkably. The 1st, 2nd and 4th Londons — 56th 
Division — had in front of them a region of country that 

* " This very well-executed enterprise " (" The Story of the Fourth 
Army," p. 76). 



FIGHTING AT BULLECOURT, AUGUST, 1918 293 

had never yielded much to the repeated assaults of both 
British and German troops. At the beginning of the 
German offensive the front had only been some four and a 
half miles to the east. Over a week's hard fighting was 
now necessitated to carry the positions over the five miles, 
including Bullecourt. On the 23rd the 4th Londons were 
in the centre of the brigade who carried Boyelles and the 
ground up to Summit Trench, 1,000 yards west of Croi- 
silles. Less than 3,000 yards to the east lay the Hinden- 
burg line, and the 1st Londons pitted B and D Companies 
against this obstacle on August 24th. But five belts of 
wire lay in front of them, and the attack was unsuccessful. 
Fooley Trench (south-west of Fontaine les Croisilles) and 
Fooley Post provided the objectives for several further 
abortive attacks. The 1st Londons made an attempt on 
the 25th, but without success. They were relieved on the 
following day by the 2nd Londons, who, attacking due 
east towards the Hindenburg line, captured and cleared 
Fooley Trench, capturing twelve machine guns and four 
prisoners. The wounded still remaining in No Man's Land 
from an earlier counter-attack were collected under fire 
by a party under Second Lieutenant G. H. Merrikin, who 
lost his life while so doing. Croisilles, which formed the 
objective of another unit this day, was as yet unreduced, 
and the battalion came under heavy enfilade fire from the 
right, the northern corner of the village. But they fought 
on against a heavy resistance up Sensee Avenue, when, 
reduced to 2 officers and 63 other ranks, they were ordered 
to stand and abandon the attempt to advance further^ 
They consolidated with a line of strong posts. In this 
battle they lost 9 officers and 199 other ranks. 

On March 28th the 4th Londons relieved the 2nd, and 
they had the distinction of twice fighting through Bulle- 
court in the next few days. On the 31st, in about half an 
hour after the beginning of the attack, the left company 
(D) were half-way through the northern end of the village. 
The right company (C) were at this time held up, but the 
support company entered the village and began to " mop 



294 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

up." Slow progress was made, but by 8.40 a.m. the left 
company were through the northern end of the village and 
in touch with the Middlesex. The reserve company rilled 
the gap between the two leading companies, and C 
Company were able to push through to the east, where 
they were held up some time by machine guns in a derelict 
tank. At 3 p.m. the village was clear of the enemy, and 
Lewis-gun posts were established across the eastern out- 
skirts. After this very useful attack the battalion were 
relieved on September 1st. The three battalions of the 
London Regiment lost in the August operations 38 officers 
and 805 other ranks, and after the recapture of Bulle- 
court they were withdrawn to refit. 

The Lys. — Meanwhile the rest of the front had changed 
more rapidly. Even in the Lys area the German gains 
were being surrendered. The 2nd Royal Fusiliers returned 
to the sector of the line, which in April had seen their 
brave but unsuccessful attempts to check the German 
advance, on August 17th, and two days later co-operated 
with the attack on Outtersteene Ridge by sending out 
patrols to Lynde Farm. It was thought that in this 
sector with a little persuasion the line could be advanced, 
but a very hot machine-gun fire soon brought disillusion. 
Second Lieutenant Quinn was killed, with 5 other ranks, 
while 15 men were wounded. A planned attack was 
delivered at 5 p.m. on the 19th. The fortified farms 
Lynde and Lesage were captured ; and W Company, on 
the right, also assisted the 12th Norfolks in the capture of 
Labis Farm. The battalion that night held a line in front 
of the sector of the Vieux Berquin-Outtersteene road, 
running from the cross roads to the railway. Their total 
casualty list was 73 killed and wounded, including Second 
Lieutenants Whyte and Brown killed ; but they took 
prisoner 1 officer and no men and captured ten machine 
guns and two trench mortars. On the next two days 
patrols were pushed forward to Haute Maison, over 
1,000 yards due east. No opposition was met, and the 
forward positions were consolidated. 



RECOVERY OF KEMMEL HILL 295 

Kemmel Hill. — A more important readjustment of 
the line took place before the end of the month on the 
northern face of the Lys sector. The 26th Royal Fusiliers 
had moved to this part of the front at the end of June, 
their division relieving the French troops who were then 
holding it. When they went into the front line on July 
10th the defences still showed signs of bitter fighting. 
The front line companies held shallow rifle pits without 
any communications. They were consequently confined 
to their positions during the long summer days, and could 
only leave them in the brief hours of darkness. Even then 
the commanding position of Kemmel Hill made movement 
risky. Despite all handicaps, Second Lieutenants Hector 
and Freemantle took out a raiding party of B Company 
towards the end of the month and secured the necessary 
identifications.* They were relieved by American troops 
on July 31st, but returned to the line on August 29th. 
They were due to be relieved on August 31st, but on the 
preceding evening they were very heavily shelled. About 
9 p.m. the barrage appeared to be directed on the German 
front line positions ; and, appreciating the significance of 
this procedure at once, the commanding officer sent out 
patrols under Second Lieutenant K. B. Legg and Second 
Lieutenant F. J. Quinton. The German front line was 
reported evacuated, and it was inferred that the Germans 
were abandoning Kemmel Hill. The relief was cancelled ; 
and C Company, under Lieutenant W. Willson, were 
ordered to follow up the retirement. They began to move 
forward before dawn, and were half-way up the western 
slope before they met with any opposition. A very heavy 
machine-gun fire was then experienced from the left, and 
the company were halted while scouts went forward. At 
10.30 a.m. C and D Companies crossed the hill and 
advanced down the eastern slopes. In the lower ground 
the enemy could be seen retiring covered by small rear- 
guards. The 26th Battalion now formed part of an 
organised advance ; and they rapidly pushed eastwards 

* Both these officers received the M.C. 



296 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

about a mile and a half, in which position they were relieved 
in the morning of September ist. The only casualties 
were two men wounded in one of the most bitterly con- 
tested areas on the whole of the front, a striking indication 
of the different tempo of the fighting. The Lys front was 
yielding, and the 2nd Battalion advanced on August 31st 
and September ist to a line from La Becque to a point 
about 1,000 yards due west of La Creche. The German 
guns had been moved back, and only a few shells and 

occasional snipers met the troops as they advanced. 
» * * * 

Meanwhile the main attack had been delivered to the 
south. On August 23rd the 4th Royal Fusiliers were to 
advance with the general movement of the 3rd Division. 
As the 76th Brigade moved on Gomiecourt at 4 a.m., the 
9th were to complete the capture of the railway. The 
2nd Division were to pass through the 3rd Division at 
11 a.m. with the 37th Division on their right ; but at 
10.20 a.m. the 9th Brigade were ordered to fill the gap 
between the 2nd and 37th Divisions, the Northumberland 
Fusiliers being followed by the 4th Royal Fusiliers. The 
Northumberland Fusiliers accordingly advanced about a 
mile beyond the railway and the 4th Royal Fusiliers closed 
up to the west side of the line. 

The 24th Royal Fusiliers, who went through with the 
2nd Division at 11 a.m., met with a heavy artillery fire at 
once. In crossing the railway they also suffered from 
rifle fire directed from a small post on their right. Gomie- 
court was left on the south, and the battalion swung to 
the right in the face of a heavy fire from all arms. Their 
way was pitted by 8-inch shells, and machine-gun fire met 
them on both flanks. The conditions, in fine, were almost 
intolerable ; but the battalion went through the barrage, 
cool, unhurried, unfaltering, and, with the Highland Light 
Infantry, they reached and consolidated the ridge west of 
Behagnies. Here a field gun, limbers, and eight horses 
were captured, with much booty, including a number of 
valuable documents. 



THE 13TH BATTALION'S FINE SUCCESS 297 

C Company of the 17th Battalion, advancing in support 
of the 1st King's attack a little to the north, captured five 
77-mm. guns. The 23rd Battalion provided a composite 
company, who also attacked in this sector of the front, and 
succeeded in securing positions just west of Sapignies. 

Achiet le Grand. — The 13th Royal Fusiliers, attack- 
ing on the south-west, had a more stirring time. No. 2 
Company, under Captain Whitehead, M.C.,* on the left 
front, skilfully turned the brickworks west of Achiet le 
Grand, capturing 60 prisoners and n light machine guns ; 
but No. 3 Company, on the right, met with intense machine- 
gun fire on the top of the railway embankment. The 
Germans were in good cover, and could not be easily located. 
The attack was held up temporarily, and then, under 
cover of a heavy and sustained fire, the men were enabled 
to crawl up the embankment and enfilade the enemy. A 
Lewis-gun team rushed across and took the Germans in 
the rear. Indeed, this was a fight of fights. The team 
were picked off one by one, but not before they had so 
demoralised the Germans that a sudden rush finished the 
struggle. The cutting was like a rabbit warren. It was 
simply alive with Germans, and their surrender was almost 
embarrassing. Dug-out after dug-out was cleared. One of 
them disgorged a German staff, including an officer who 
spoke English. He was promptly pressed into service, 
and went round with the mopping-up party. His authori- 
tative orders to come out and surrender were obeyed with 
alacrity. Out of this cutting at least 400 Germans were 
taken, with many light and heavy machine guns. The 
position had been thought so secure that in one of the 
dug-outs a meal had just been taken. Hot coffee lay on 
the table. It was one of the greatest days experienced 
by the battalion, and their right flank was apparently in 
the air. Patrols were sent down for 1,000 yards without 
locating any other troops. The cutting was crossed, and 
the advance was resumed. Through the battalion's col- 
lecting station that day over 1,000 prisoners passed, and 

* He received the D.S.O. for his services on this day. 



298 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the battalion's casualties from the 21st to the 27th in- 
clusive were little more than a fifth of this number. 
Captain J. Marguard and Second Lieutenant A. McCarthy 
were killed in this engagement, and 5 officers were 
wounded. 

The 10th Royal Fusiliers passed through to attack 
Achiet le Grand at 1.30 p.m., after the village had been 
bombarded for an hour. D Company were on the left, 
A on the right, with B in the centre. The village held a 
large German garrison ; but apparently the crushing of the 
resistance in the cutting to the west, combined with the 
bombardment, had broken their morale, for Second Lieu- 
tenant W. F. Smith With his platoon, only 19 strong, alone 
captured 118 of the enemy. The village was soon cleared 
and the battalion advanced to the east ; but their right 
flank was in the air and so continued throughout the day 
and night. About 200 yards south of the village the 
enemy were still in possession of a strong post, and a 
heavy machine-gun fire was kept up from this quarter. 
The village was also heavily bombarded ; but there were 
few casualties, as the battalion had withdrawn to the east. 
On the following day the battalion were relieved and went 
back to the dug-outs in the cutting which had been so 
skilfully cleared by the 13th Royal Fusiliers. 

Behagnies. — The attack of the 24th Royal Fusiliers 
on August 23rd carried the battalion to the ridge west of 
Behagnies, while the 23rd Battalion were moving to the 
threshold of Sapignies. On the 25th Behagnies, Sapig- 
nies, and Favreuil were attacked, the first and last by the 
Royal Fusiliers to whom they fell. In effect, the troops 
were aiming at the northern flank of Bapaume. On the 
24th the 17th Royal Fusiliers had co-operated in the 
attack upon Mory. The contribution of the regiment to 
the successes of the 25th was more significant. The 24th 
Battalion had spent a day in reorganisation and prepara- 
tion for the resumption of the attack. The assault began 
at 3.30 a.m., and was a complete surprise. Behagnies was 
strongly held, and there were no machine guns. But 



CAPTURE OF FAVREUIL, AUGUST 25TH 299 

the troops followed the barrage so closely that they were 
upon the positions before the elaborate defences could be 
manned. Many of the men were sleeping in their dug- 
outs. These for the most part recognised the inevitable 
and surrendered. Some who attempted to escape were 
promptly shot down. The support company did their 
work of mopping up thoroughly and expeditiously, while 
the leading companies pushed through the village towards 
their objective, the ridge about 300 yards east of Behag- 
nies. This was occupied and put into a state of defence ; 
and the support company, having completed their work 
in the village, took up positions to guard the southern 
approaches. Many young and untried troops took part 
in this action. It was their first battle, but they behaved 
with all the sang froid of veterans. At 6 p.m. the village 
was completely in the hands of the battalion with 200 
prisoners, a number which exceeded the total casualties 
of the battalion for the two days' operations. 

Favreuil. — In the afternoon of the same day the 10th 
Royal Fusiliers moved up in support to their brigade, 
passing through a heavy barrage straight to Favreuil. 
Five hundred yards west of the village they found the 
13th King's Royal Rifle Corps held up by a heavy machine- 
gun fire. The battalion were intended to attack from the 
west and north-west, but under the circumstances such 
action would have been costly folly. The battalion 
accordingly moved southward, and achieving a position 
from which they enfiladed the enemy lying on the west of 
the village, caused them to surrender. The orchard and 
north-west corner of the village were still strongly held 
with numerous machine guns. When darkness fell a 
concerted attempt was made to reduce these positions. 
Second Lieutenant C. W. N. Woodcock with a platoon 
moved along the northern edge of the village. Machine 
guns opened fire upon them from the orchard, and several 
were rushed. Another platoon moved through the centre 
of the village, and established contact with the 13th Rifle 
Brigade on the east side. This platoon also came under 



300 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

fire from the orchard, but towards midnight the two 
platoons began to approach each other, and the enemy 
withdrew under the threat of envelopment. A gap 
between the 13th Rifle Brigade, 400 yards east of the 
village, and the New Zealand Division, was filled by two 
platoons of A Company, under Second Lieutenant A. W. 
Usher. The village was completely held by 3 a.m. on 
August 26th, but the battalion had not achieved contact 
with the 2nd Division on the north. A few hours later 
they were relieved. 

Thilloy. — The 63rd Division on August 26th attempted 
to capture Thilloy, Ligny Thilloy and Riencourt. But the 
two brigades devoted to this attack were held up before 
the first two villages, and in the renewed attack on the 
following day the 7th Royal Fusiliers advanced with the 
4th Bedfords. The day appeared to be out of joint. At 
11 a.m. the barrage began, and was short, many casualties 
being inflicted on the troops assembled for attack. The 
first assault, launched with such handicaps, produced 
nothing but further casualties. In the afternoon another 
attack was delivered, and the troops penetrated into the 
village of Thilloy. But the battalion were now seriously 
weakened, and the losses of officers were particularly 
heavy. The surviving men, being leaderless, at length 
withdrew ; and the battalion were relieved after a 
disastrous day. 

Towards Peronne. — Meanwhile the Royal Fusiliers in 
the III. Corps had been heavily engaged against a growing 
resistance north of the Somme. On August 25th the 
second line London battalions and the 9th and nth Royal 
Fusiliers were all involved in the attack. Moving from 
positions west of Bronfay Farm, the 2/2 and 2/4 Londons 
pushed well forward to the east of the Carnoy-Suzanne 
road. The 2/2nd at the end of the day lay astride the 
Fricourt-Maricourt road east of Carnoy, after capturing 
Carre Wood and an elaborate trench system ; while the 
2/4th held positions to the north-east of Billon Wood, which 
they had captured after a very fierce struggle. To the 



TERRITORIALS CAPTURE MARICOURT 301 

north the 9th Royal Fusiliers advanced on a front of 1,200 
yards to a depth of about 2,000 yards, carrying the line 
forward to the south-western edge of Fricourt. Patrols 
were sent eastward along the north-west edge of Mametz, 
and reported the village evacuated. Fricourt was also 
found to be clear of the enemy at the same time, and 
the division advanced. But this weakening resistance did 
not confront the nth Royal Fusiliers, who, attempting 
to capture the high ground in front of Montauban, en- 
countered a most stubborn resistance, and were unable to 
capture their objectives. The struggle was renewed on 
the following day, and fighting vigorously across ground 
where they had first gained their spurs, the battalion 
pressed into Montauban. 

The 3rd Londons on this day (August 26th) represented 
the Fusilier Brigade. Attacking at very short notice 
astride the Peronne road, the battalion had gained all 
objectives by 9.30 a.m. Their final line lay across the 
western outskirts of Maricourt. B Company, indeed, had 
entered the village, but had been forced to retire. The 
village was attacked and carried on the 27th, and on the 
following day the 2/2 Battalion captured the German 
positions between Bois d'en Haut and Support Copse, 
while the 9th Royal Fusiliers, on their left, advanced about 
2,000 yards to their objectives. Hardecourt fell to them, 
and 50 prisoners of various battalions of the 2nd Guards 
Division with sixteen machine guns. They had suffered 
heavily from machine-gun fire, but the capture of prisoners 
from a famous division was an inspiriting performance. 
The second line Londons on August 26th received a note of 
well-earned praise from their Brigadier : " The Major- 
General commanding the division, in congratulating you 
all, wishes me to tell you that Sir Douglas Haig, the Army 
Commander, and the Corps Commander, have all expressed 
the highest praise for the way in which the brigade is 
fighting. For myself, I cannot say how proud I am to be 
in command of such a brigade as the Fusilier Brigade." 

At 5.15 a.m. on August 30th the nth Royal Fusiliers 



302 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

advanced through the Northants. The preceding day the 
brigade had gone forward in column of route, the leading 
companies alone being in open formation, and with little 
resistance had reached the edge of Combles. But the nth 
Battalion came under heavy fire and were held up at Priez 
Farm. By this time this battalion had secured during 
August 3 officers and 450 other ranks prisoners. They 
had received a letter of warm congratulation from Sir 
Henry Rawlinson for their feat in crossing the Ancre, and, 
indeed, their action had been deserving of all praise. 

On August 31st the 4th Battalion, who had moved up to 
positions south-east of Ecoust, attacked eastwards. Ten 
minutes before zero the assembly positions were subjected 
to a heavy shell and machine-gun fire, and there were 
many casualties ; and when our barrage began, five minutes 
later, it missed the chief obstacles in the way of the Royal 
Fusiliers' advance. As a consequence, while the battalions 
on both flanks advanced with little trouble, the 4th Royal 
Fusiliers were decisively checked by machine-gun fire from 
the sunken road, about 250 yards to the east. Z Company 
made several most gallant attempts to reach these guns, 
but the men were mown down, and all the officers but one 
became casualties. The tank which should have assisted 
in coping with this obstacle caught fire a few minutes 
before zero. Another tank broke down actually in the 
road, and a German officer, climbing on top of it, shot or 
took prisoner the whole of the crew. A machine-gun nest 
in the south of Ecoust also devoted too much attention to 
the battalion, who were completely held up. About 8 p.m. 
the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers cleared the sunken road 
under a creeping barrage, and before dawn on September 
1st the 4th Royal Fusiliers had advanced 1,500 yards. At 
6 p.m. on the same day, with only eight casualties, the 
battalion carried the line still further, clearing the sunken 
road midway between Longatte and Noreuil. In this 
operation 70 prisoners and several machine guns and trench 
mortars were captured. 

As a result of the fighting since August 8th, the enemy 



ADVANCE OF SEPTEMBER 3RD 303 

had been beaten out of his positions over a great stretch 
of front. " During the night of September 2nd— 3rd he 
fell back rapidly on the whole front of the Third Army. 
By the end of the day he had taken up positions along the 
general line of the Canal du Nord from Peronne to Ytres, 
and thence east of Hermies, Inchy en Artois and Ecourt 
St. Quentin to the Sensee east of Lecluse."* The retire- 
ment was promptly followed up. At 5.20 a.m. on Sep- 
tember 3rd the 17th Royal Fusiliers began to advance. 
Only two hours before, they had reached the position, 
relieving another battalion, on a line about 1,000 yards 
east of Vaux-Vraucourt. With A Company (Captain 
Ash well) on the right and B (Captain Sword) on the left, 
the battalion rapidly advanced to the first objective, about 
5,000 yards from their starting point, and they were 
ordered to resume their progress at 1 p.m. Major Smith, 
the adjutant, who rode forward to give final instructions, 
could not locate the battalion at first ; and they did not 
resume the advance until 2.30 p.m. Doignies was soon 
passed, but about 1,000 yards to the east they were held 
up by machine-gun fire from the neighbourhood of Boursies. 
At this point two platoons of C Company were sent up to 
make good the casualties in B Company. At 6.20 p.m. 
the advance was resumed with the help of artillery, and 
Demicourt was taken. At 6.55 p.m. positions were taken 
up covering Demicourt and Boursies, which B Company 
occupied. At the latter village they were in touch with 
the Guards, and on the left they were in contact with the 
South Staffords. The battalion had been advancing 
almost continuously for over thirteen hours, prepared for 
anything, in verification of an inference of the high com- 
mand. In this period they had covered some 9,500 yards,| 
at a total cost of 52 casualties. 

The next day the 13th Royal Fusiliers carried on the 

* Despatch. 

f The difficulty of representing most movements on a map, except of 
large scale, and the striking ease with which this movement can be 
shown on a map of almost any reasonable scale, shows sufficiently how 
times were changing. 



304 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

advance a little to the south, but their progress was more 
chequered, and at the end of the day they encountered a 
firm resistance. They set out at 7 a.m. from near Hermies, 
with the purpose of taking up a line east of Havrincourt. 
But they had only advanced 200 yards before they were 
held up by machine-gun and trench-mortar fire from the 
right flank. But the trench mortars were put out of 
action and the machine guns compelled to retire, and the 
advance was continued. The Canal du Nord runs roughly 
parallel to the railway about 1,100 yards south of Hermies, 
and then turns northward about 2,000 yards east of the 
village. Near the bend, on the southern side, is the 
north-western extension of Havrincourt Wood. At the 
west corner of the wood a platoon crossed the canal to 
the south. The 1/1 Herts, who were on the right of the 
13th Battalion, were at this point 500 yards in the rear ; 
and the Royal Fusiliers were suffering from enfilade fire 
from this quarter. After a halt to enable the Herts to 
come up the advance was resumed due eastward, and 
Lewis guns were established on Yorkshire Bank. The 
right were now once more out of touch, and Germans 
could be seen moving up in the wood at the bend of the 
canal. The right company were then withdrawn to the 
tunnel under the canal a little to the west. On the left 
the line was established in front of Square Copse, and in 
the evening touch was achieved with the 2nd Division. 
The battalion had covered about 2,500 yards in their 
advance, but under greater difficulties than had faced the 
17th Battalion. The next two days patrols were pushed 
out eastward, and the position consolidated in depth at 
the same time that it was being advanced. 

But the enemy resistance had now definitely hardened 
on this part of the front, and the 23rd Royal Fusiliers, 
attacking east of Doignies (September 7th) , suffered very 
heavily. The Canal du Nord, with the approaches swept 
by enemy fire, formed a formidable line of resistance. 
Below, from the neighbourhood of Havrincourt, the main 
line was the Hindenburg system ; and at this time the 



EPEHY-PEZIERES, SEPTEMBER ioth 305 

Germans held very strong positions, in advance of the 
main trench system, at Havrincourt and Epehy. Before 
the attack on the Hindenburg line these outliers had to 
be taken. It fell to the Royal Fusiliers to put the strength 
of one of these outposts to the test. 

Epehy. — Epehy-Pezieres forms topographically not 
two, but one feature, and against this position the Fusilier 
Brigade of the 58th Division advanced on September ioth. 
The battalions were all weak, the 2/2 Londons mustering 
only 17 officers and 481 other ranks before the battle. 
The 2/2nd and 3rd Londons advanced to the attack at 
5.15 a.m. The objective of both battalions was the east 
of the two villages. Pezieres was to be taken by the 
2/2nd, and Epehy by the 3rd Londons. The German 
line in this sector had been heavily reinforced ; and the 
Alpine Corps, a body of formidable troops, held the 
objectives of the Fusiliers' attack. The advance began 
in a heavy storm of driving rain ; and, despite the stubborn 
resistance, the objective was gained by both battalions. 
But such positions could not be reduced in face of the 
resistance of organised garrisons without a much heavier 
treatment by artillery and the assistance of tanks. Neither 
Epehy nor Pezieres was thoroughly mopped up, and as a 
consequence when the counter-attack came the attacking 
companies of the 2/2 Londons found themselves sur- 
rounded. The men had to fight their way back. They 
retired on Tottenham Post, in the north-western outskirts 
of Pezieres, with a loss of 8 officers and 164 other ranks. 
The 3rd Londons were also compelled to abandon their 
objective. They had suffered heavily in the advance 
from fire directed from the trenches south of Epehy. 
in the afternoon the commanding officer led a bombing 
attack on these trenches and succeeded in turning the 
Germans out. The remnants of A and C Companies who, 
under Captain S. W. Johnson, had held positions on the 
railway embankment for some time, were forced back by 
the counter-attack from the railway embankment to a 
position slightly behind the assembly position. The 3rd 

F. X 



306 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Londons lost only 7 officers and 8y other ranks, a suffici- 
ently heavy casualty list for an unsuccessful action, but 
not half the loss of the sister battalion. The 2/4 Londons, 
who had been in support and were occupied in mopping 
up, took 80 prisoners, twenty machine guns, and three 
anti-tank guns. Owing to the difficulty of replacing the 
casualties, the 2/4th were amalgamated with the 2/2nd 
on September 12th. 

On September 12th Trescault and Havrincourt were 
taken, and the 24th Royal Fusiliers became involved in 
the 2nd Division's attack near Mceuvres. An attempt 
by the 10th Royal Fusiliers to capture the Bilhen Chapel 
wood switch on the 14th led to one of the most protracted 
bitter and evenly contested actions of this phase. For 
the next few days the troops were rested and exercised 
in preparation for the larger action against the approaches 
to the Hindenburg system. 

Battle of Epehy. — At 5.20 on the morning of Sep- 
tember 1 8th the Fourth and Third Armies struck on a 
front of about seventeen miles from Holnon to Gouzeau- 
court. North of the main attack the 13th Royal Fusiliers 
were engaged on this day in one of those actions that 
recurred almost to the very end of the war. The assault 
was launched in a rain storm, and the battalion found 
themselves held up by a strong belt of wire. The artillery 
had failed to destroy it, and there were several bombing 
blocks which had escaped untouched. No headway 
could be made, although the battalion three times attacked. 
After this the attempts ceased, and the battalion retired 
to their original positions. 

A few miles farther north the 4th Battalion were heavily 
attacked by the enemy. At 3.30 p.m. a bombardment 
of the battery area began, and three-quarters of an hour 
later the front line and headquarters came unc'er an 
intense barrage. At 5 p.m. the Germans attacked and 
succeeded in penetrating the battalion front in three 
places, pushing vigorously along the sunken road and 
railway leading into Havrincourt. Captain A. J. Lord, 



SECOND ATTACK ON EPEHY-PEZIERES 307 

D.S.O., M.C., and Captain Mabbot, M.C., on the right and 
left fronts respectively, counter-attacked, drove the 
enemy out and completely re-established the original 
front line. Captains Smith and Howard, support and 
reserve, threw the Germans back from the exposed left 
flank which they had penetrated. Seventy prisoners and 
five machine guns were captured. Second Lieutenant E. 
Twigg and 19 other ranks were killed, and there were 52 
other casualties ; but the honours of this small engage- 
ment remained in the hands of the Royal Fusiliers. 

In the main attack the two London battalions again 
moved against Epehy-Pezieres. The 2/2 Londons were on 
the left and the 3rd Londons on the right. Despite the 
bad weather and the most obstinate resistance, the two 
battalions made excellent progress, and by 10.20 a.m. 
had cleared Pezieres all but one post. The 2/2 Londons 
found the second stage of the attack more difficult. They 
had to cross the tangle of trenches north-west of Pezieres, 
and very little impression could be made upon Poplar 
Trench. This trench threw a roughly semicircular loop 
over the ridge above Catelet Valley, on the road leading 
north-west from Epehy. At 9 p.m. Captain White- 
head, M.C., attacked it with all the force available, but 
was only able to establish three posts on the road below the 
trench. It was attacked again at 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on 
September 19th, and a block was established about half- 
way up the trench. Another attack at 11 a.m. made but 
slow progress. At 3 p.m. a platoon under Second 
Lieutenant A. K. Chesterton reinforced Captain White- 
head's party and did good work, but it was not until 
7 p.m. that the whole of the trench had been cleared and 
touch obtained with the brigade on the right. Every 
yard had been fiercely contested, and it says much for 
the 2/2 Londons that their persistence at length wore out 
a famous German unit. Meanwhile the 3rd Londons had 
the task of reducing the strong points in Pezieres. Their 
task was made more difficult by the successful resistance 
of the Alpine Corps in Epehy. Fisher's Keep, one of the 

x 2 



308 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

objectives of the 3rd Londons, held out until 7.45 p.m., 
when only 17 unwounded men remained of the original 
garrison of 3 officers and 45 men. On September 19th 
No. 1 Company held four of the enemy posts, and No. 2 
had a grip on the railway cutting east of the village. 

The 9th Royal Fusiliers moved due east from the rail- 
way south of Epehy and north of Ronssoy to their final 
objective, about 1,500 yards ahead. The battalion on 
the left lost direction, and when the 9th Royal Fusiliers 
had reached their final objective, their flanks were in the 
air. On the right they had been in touch at the first two 
objectives, but not at the final one ; and the resistance in 
Epehy disturbed the day's plan. At the end of the day 
the battalion dug in on their objectives with Lewis guns 
protecting their flanks. They had captured 1 officer 
and 65 other ranks from the Alpine Corps and 1st Guard 
Grenadier Regiment with seven machine guns. Captain 
W. E. Bott and Second Lieutenant G. S. Lowe, killed, 
were among the 113 casualties. On September 21st the 
9th Royal Fusiliers were again called upon to attack in an 
endeavour to secure the final objectives of the 18th ; but, 
despite several gallant attempts, little headway could be 
made, and the battalion lost very heavily. Eleven 
officers were lost, three, Second Lieutenants F. C. L. 
Harrup, M.C., V. H. Isaacs and B. Spence, being killed. 
These were very important losses, and, with the 270 other 
ranks casualties, badly weakened the battalion. 

Hard fighting was the lot of all these units in this battle, 
but, for the complexus of difficulties involved, the nth 
Royal Fusiliers' role must have been almost unique. The 
R. W. Rents, attacking with the 54th Brigade, were to 
capture and hold a line through the eastern outskirts of 
Ronssoy. The Bedfords were to pass through them and 
establish a line at the junction of the Bellicourt and Guil- 
lemont (farm) roads. The Northants on the left and the 
nth Royal Fusiliers on the right had then to form up 
and attack northwards, at right angles to the main line of 
advance, with May and Lempire among their objectives. 



ELEVENTH BATTALION'S HARD TASK 309 

By 7.30 a.m. (September 18th) the nth Battalion were 
formed up. This alone was no slight matter under the 
circumstances. In the fog the attacking lines of the three 
battalions became considerably mixed. Despite the 
heavy machine-gun fire about Ronssoy, Captain G. E. 
Cornaby exposed himself freely in order to organise his 
company ; and this done, he led them forward under the 
barrage to almost the whole of their objectives. Captain 
Hornfeck with Captain Cornaby " led his men forward, 
and, in spite of his exposed right flank and heavy machine- 
gun and point-blank artillery fire from that direction, 
succeeded in gaining his objective, capturing two field 
guns and several trench mortars. On Captain Cornaby 
becoming a casualty he took command in this area, 
reorganised round the principal strong points and drove 
off two counter-attacks."* Some of the men moved 
throughout the morning to the whistle of the sergeant- 
major as though in extended order drill. To complete 
the anomaly, a German prisoner, eating black bread and 
sausage, insisted on following the sergeant-major, and, 
all threats notwithstanding, cheerfully continued to do so. 
But, despite all gallantry and skill, the troops did not reach 
their final objectives, and when the 55th Brigade attacked 
through them they, too, could make very little headway. 
The enemy's resistance on the east of Basse Boulogne and 
in Lempire could not be overcome. 

In order to complete the capture of the objectives of 
September 18th, the attack was resumed at 5.20 a.m. 
on the 21st, the nth Royal Fusiliers being in reserve. 
But about midday two companies, organised as one, were 
attached to the Bedfords, and they were sent forward 
against Duncan Post at 12.15 am - on the 22nd. There 
was a little moonlight, but not much, and the company, 
losing direction, captured Cat Post (500 yards farther 
south) and some trench elements, sending back 20 
prisoners. There was thus a gap on their left flank. 
About 1 p.m. the Bedfords carried Duncan Post with a 

* Both of these officers gained the M.C. 



310 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

number of prisoners. About ioo Germans attempted 
to escape eastwards, and the attached Fusiliers gave 
chase. In the midst of this incident our barrage came 
down to break up a counter-attack farther north, and some 
of the Fusiliers were caught in it. Somehow out of the 
confusion a solid achievement emerged, and the ground 
was cleared for the general offensive. 




'C. £ £t*£/j 



'9'9 



Major-General Sir Charles Townshend, K.C.B., D.S.O., M.P. 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE HUNDRED DAYS — LAST BATTLES 

The battles which began with the Franco-American 
attack north of Verdun on September 26th logically 
opened a new and the last phase of the war. The general 
offensive consisted of a series of converging attacks which 
' depended in a peculiarly large degree upon the British 
attack in the centre. It was here that the enemy's defences 
were most highly organised. If these were broken, the 
threat directed at his vital systems of lateral communica- 
tion would of necessity react upon his defence elsewhere."* 
Yet it must be evident that the British armies entered 
upon this critical phase weary and weakened from the 
almost continual fighting from August 8th. The engage- 
ments fought, now here, now there, by the various bat- 
talions of the Royal Fusiliers, under great stress and with 
heavy casualties, are in their way a fairly just indication 
of the state of the Army generally. But when Sir 
Douglas Haig decided to embark upon the new offen- 
sive against a defensive system of extraordinary strength, 
he recognised that never had the morale of the British 
troops been higher. This confidence had been fed by a 
long series of victories, and as the last phase developed 
it was inflamed by the successive defection of Germany's 
allies and the German efforts to obtain an armistice. 

But it must not be thought that the Germans did not 
fight very valiantly through the greater part of this period, 
though the resistance was " patchy." Almost to the end 
some of the Royal Fusilier battalions had to make their 
way against very heavy righting ; and it is part of the 
difficulty of describing these last days that in some places 

* Despatch. 



312 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the battalions covered great distances without meeting 
any real resistance over ground that seemed to offer every 
evidence of enforced and hasty retreat, through scenes and 
experiences entirely novel, while others fought numerous 
heavy battles, and could make little headway against the 
defensive. 

September 27th. — The British offensive on the St. 
Quentin-Cambrai front was not launched as one great 
attack. The defence was more formidable on the southern 
half of the front, and the British artillery on this sector 
laboured under a handicap until the Hindenburg line and 
the approaches to Cambrai had been won. In order to 
assist the Fourth Army attack, Sir Douglas Haig, therefore, 
struck first between Gouzeaucourt and Sauchy-Lestree 
on September 27th. On the extreme north of the front of 
attack the 2nd Londons, who on the preceding night had 
assembled midway between Villers-lez-Cagincourt and 
Baralle, advanced to the canal and waited there while the 
Canadians cleared up Marquion. They then crossed the 
canal, headed by D Company under Captain D. Sloan, 
moved through the village and advanced to the first 
objective. D Company encountered some resistance on 
the canal line, and B, under Captain W. T. Telford, M.C., 
took their section of the line at the double. At 3.28 p.m. 
the advance was resumed behind a creeping barrage. A 
Company, on the right, went forward as steadily as if on 
parade, and their first prisoners were a German doctor and 
his Aid Post staff. Sauchy-Lestree was captured with 
little difficulty, a company of the London Rifle Brigade 
clearing it up while the Londons advanced. Part of 
Sauchy-Cauchy was within the battalion's boundaries, and 
the troops wheeled left to deal with it. A cleared Cemetery 
Wood, and their patrols found numbers of Germans in dug- 
outs between it and Oisy le Verger. Some machine-gun 
nests north of the wood resisted four attacks, but suc- 
cumbed to the fifth, and by 3 a.m. on the 28th the Londons 
were on the final objective after a very brilliant advance. 
A company (C) continued the advance towards Palluel at 



CAPTURE OF RIBECOURT, SEPTEMBER 27TH 313 

10.30 the following day and established posts between 
the village and the Bois de Quesnoy as directed. Besides 
much materiel they had captured 6 officers and 454 other 
ranks, and their total casualties were only 71. Mean- 
while the 4th Londons assisted in clearing up the western 
side of the canal up to the railway south-east of 
Palluel. 

Some miles to the south the 7th Battalion had to attack 
over familiar ground. Assembling on the railway west of 
Moeuvres, the battalion moved forward at zero (5.20 a.m.) 
and crossed the canal without much opposition ; but on 
the spur south-west of Bourbon Wood, the final objective, 
the Fusiliers had to crush by rifle and machine-gun fire an 
attempt to hold them up. The battalion quickly took the 
trench on the spur, and reorganised before the 188th 
Brigade passed through. Second Lieutenant R. H. 
Righton was killed by a shell in the trench ; but the 
casualties were few, and the battalion had captured a field 
gun, 10 light and 10 heavy machine guns, and 4 officers 
and 400 other ranks. They remained in the trench during 
the night. 

The Royal Fusilier battalions of the 2nd Division were 
not engaged this day, but the 17th Battalion, resting at a 
place where they had stood after the German counter- 
attack in 1917, Lock 7, suffered 32 casualties from a 
German aeroplane which secured three direct hits. The 
4th Royal Fusiliers carried out a businesslike advance to 
Ribecourt. Moving off in artillery formation behind the 
1st Northumberland Fusiliers and 13th King's Liverpools 
at 8.20 a.m., the battalion's progress was uneventful until 
the leading companies found themselves held up by a 
machine-gun nest about 800 yards west of the southern 
end of Ribecourt. The two support companies then closed 
up, and the four companies, advancing in line, surrounded 
and captured the post. The battalion were again checked 
at the western edge of Ribecourt ; but at 10.30 they had 
penetrated into the village, and in another hour they had 
crushed all resistance and had begun to consolidate on 



314 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the eastern edge of the village. Among their captures on 
this day was a 6-inch howitzer. 

The Canal Crossing. — On September 28th the 17th 
Royal Fusiliers found themselves faced with a task calling 
for every spark of their daring and resource. Two 
companies, C and D, had been directed after dark on the 
preceding day to form a defensive flank on the left of the 
brigade, and were ordered to attack on the 28th with the 
high ground across the canal, north-east of Noyelles, as 
their final objective. By 8.30 a.m. Noyelles had been 
captured and the River Scheldt crossed. But the resist- 
ance stiffened very considerably at the canal crossings, 
and the whole of the division were held up. At this 
juncture it was decided to make an attempt to put a 
company of the 17th Royal Fusiliers across the canal by 
sending them down the river on a raft to the point where 
it is crossed by the canal. The plan was to raft the 
company under the canal arches, and then land and form 
up on the east of the canal. D Company with a platoon 
of B were ordered to undertake the task. Second 
Lieutenant F. G. Waters was ordered to reconnoitre the 
river with a view to the practicability of the operation. 
This young officer " swam the Scheldt in broad daylight 
with a rope in order to get a raft across for an attack to 
be made on the enemy ; and reconnoitred the ground on 
the east side with the enemy only fifty yards away. He 
was in charge of the leading wave of the attack, and led his 
men with great courage and determination against two 
machine guns, killing both crews. Later, when the enemy 
counter-attacked, he rallied his men and led them forward, 
remaining at duty after being wounded." * D Company 
started to cross at 5.15 p.m., but the low clearance under- 
neath the arches proved too great a handicap ; and the 
bulk of the men crossed by the lock bridges in single file 
under heavy fire. It is one of the odd chances of war that 
these men, silhouetted against the skyline, got across with 
extremely few casualties. But their adventures on the 

* Official account. He was granted the M.C. 



ELEVENTH BATTALION ENTER VENDHUILE 315 

other side speedily reduced their numbers. At 3 a.m. on 
September 29th the Germans counter-attacked the King's 
Own, on the right, driving them back upon the 17th 
Royal Fusiliers. There was much confusion, and many 
fell back to the west side of the canal. Captain Spencer, 
M.M., assisted by Captains Sword and Panting (CO. of 
D Company) rallied the men and restored the situation. 
But the machine-gun fire was intense and the casualties 
heavy. On the morning of the 29th they were ordered 
to take up a position between Paris Copse and Range 
Wood, towards the outskirts of Cambrai. They advanced 
beyond this line. The CO. and Captain Spencer (Adju- 
tant) went forward to bring them back and organise them 
in depth. This was done, and C Company formed a 
defensive flank on the right until the battalion were 
relieved a little before midnight. The establishment of 
this bridge-head, so necessary to the division, and depend- 
ing upon multiplied acts of gallantry, cost the battalion 
the loss of 249 officers and men. 

Vendhuile. — But by this time the Fourth Army attack 
had been launched, and the northern front was being 
revolutionised. The nth Royal Fusiliers were on the 
left of the Fourth Army line, and, forming up at Sart 
Farm, about 500 yards south-east of the Lempire, advanced 
to their objective, the trench line on the outskirts of 
Vendhuile. To this position they held throughout the day 
(29th), despite the unwelcome attentions of German 
artillery and some short firing of our own guns. As the 
enemy were observed to be withdrawing on the following 
day, the nth went forward to clear the village. Very 
brisk fighting took place before this was accomplished, 
but it had been completed when the Bedfords arrived to 
help. The battalion were relieved that night, and with 
the brigade left the line for a well-earned rest. 

Flanders. — Two battalions of the regiment were also 
involved in the fourth of the converging attacks men- 
tioned by Sir Douglas Haig, the advance in Flanders. 
The 2nd Battalion had left the Lys area on September 27th, 



316 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

and at 5.30 the next morning moved forward from the 
position of assembly east of Ypres in support of the Dub- 
lins. W and X Companies formed the first wave, and, 
passing through the Lancashires at 7.8 a.m., moved after 
the Dublins. On the Stirling Castle ridge considerable 
opposition was encountered from pill-boxes and from the 
short firing of our own artillery ; and the Royal Fusiliers 
became involved in the firing line. Several pill-boxes were 
smartly cleared, forty prisoners being taken from one and 
the garrison of another, who refused to come out, being 
put out of action. After passing through the Dublins, the 
first opposition was encountered from a trench about 
200 yards north of Veldhoek. W Company put an end 
to the resistance, capturing 15 prisoners. 

A number of pill-boxes were rushed at this point, and 
the total of prisoners began to swell. At 9.45 a.m. the 
battalion rushed the line Polderhoek Ridge-Cameron 
House, and three-quarters of an hour later they crossed 
the Menin road and captured Gheluvelt. The positions 
which had resisted so obstinately all the earlier assaults 
now began to fall into the hands of the troops like ripe 
fruit. On this day the 2nd Royal Fusiliers made a 
striking advance, suffered very few casualties, and cap- 
tured about 300 prisoners, many machine guns, and a 
complete battery of 5.9's. That night they formed a 
defensive flank to the 88th Brigade, a little to the east of 
Hooge. The advance was resumed the following morning, 
the Royal Fusiliers being echeloned on the left rear of the 
88th Brigade. In spite of heavy machine-gun fire the 
ridge across the Menin road, which the Becelaere road 
follows, was captured and held. A line was established 
on this ridge for about 1,000 yards north of the road, and 
on this the battalion remained until night under per- 
sistent sniping, machine-gun and shell fire. Up to this 
time they had only had 47 casualties in the two days' 
fighting. 

On October 1st they relieved the Lancashires at about 
the centre of the road between Gheluwe and Dadizeele ; 



ADVANCE IN FLANDERS, SEPT. 28TH-29TH 317 

and on the following morning they attempted to advance 
with the 88th Brigade to the capture of Gheluwe. This 
was the hardest day's fighting yet experienced in the new 
offensive, and despite the utmost gallantry neither the 
Royal Fusiliers nor the troops on their right could make 
much headway. If the advance had been continued at 
the pace of the first two days, Lille would have been out- 
flanked. The defence was accordingly strengthened on 
this sector, and the battalion were relieved at night after 
a heavy day. 

The 26th Royal Fusiliers had also been brought up to 
the Ypres area for the offensive /and advancing without 
artillery support at 2 p.m. (28th) from a position about 
100 yards west of Canada Tunnels, met with no resistance 
worth speaking of, except from snipers, for 3,000 yards. 
At this point the battalion faced Green Jacket ridge, where 
a stubborn resistance was experienced. On reaching the 
crest they encountered a heavy fire, and a counter-attack 
was attempted from Dumbarton Wood. But D Company 
on the left charged down the slope under Lieutenant H. 
Van Der Weyden and broke up the German counter- 
attack with very heavy loss. The battalion then resumed 
their advance to a line a few hundred yards east of Basse - 
ville beek, and on this position the battalion rested that 
night, D Company forming a defensive flank on the left. 
The advance was resumed on the following day, an hour 
after dawn, B and C Companies passing through A and D. 
At the outset many casualties were suffered from rifle and 
machine-gun fire ; but this did not prevent the battalion 
reaching their objective, the road running north-east from 
Houthem to the Tenebrielen-Zandvoorde road. At this 
stage the 123rd Brigade passed through and advanced 
towards Comines, but they were beaten back and retired 
through the 124th Brigade's line. The 26th Royal 
Fusiliers held their positions that night, and at 2 a.m. 
rations came up, and they had their first food for twenty- 
four hours. A and D were in the van once more when the 
advance began on September 30th. There were numerous 



318 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

small and fierce encounters as the battalion moved south- 
east, but they reached their objective, the railway about 
Godshuis, and posts were pushed out to the Lys. In this 
very striking advance of three days the battalion's casual- 
ties only totalled 61, killed, wounded and missing. They 
spent eight more days in this area, constantly under shell 
fire, prepared for anything, before they were relieved. 

Towards Cambrai. — The 7th Royal Fusiliers attacked 
at 6.30 on the morning of September 30th from positions 
east of the Proville-Mt. St. (Euvre road, while two com- 
panies of the 23rd Battalion advanced against Mt. St. 
(Euvre. It was a very difficult area for attack, and the 
7th Battalion, after advancing about 200 yards with the 
barrage, were held up by machine-gun fire from the north 
and the east. The same reason accounted for the non- 
success of A and B Companies of the 23rd Royal Fusiliers. 
On the following day the 24th Royal Fusiliers were engaged 
in much the same area. To co-operate with the attack of 
another division on Rumilly, two companies of the 24th 
Battalion were ordered to clear the ground north-east of 
the village and establish a line east of the railway. The 
attack on Rumilly began at 5.45 p.m., and at 6.30 B Com- 
pany, with four platoons in line, advanced close up to the 
barrage and rushed the enemy positions. There were two 
quarries, honeycombed with dug-outs. B were only 3 
officers and 67 other ranks strong at this time, but they 
captured over 200 prisoners and 50 machine guns, and the 
supporting company were able to pass through and 
establish the fine east of the railway with ease. The 
position was consolidated after a very striking success. 

Le Catelet. — On October 4th the 3rd Royal Fusiliers 
again made an appearance on the Western front. They 
had arrived at Dieppe on July 14th, and, after resting and 
training, had marched up towards the battle zone two 
months later as one of the battalions of the 149th Brigade, 
50th Division. They marched throughout the night of 
October 3rd, and at 6.10 in the morning of the following 
day they advanced between Le Catelet and Vendhuile 



END OF FIRST PHASE, OCTOBER 5TH 319 

upon the redoubt at Richmond Copse. It was not an 
advance that one would choose. The battalion had to 
move down the slope to the Scheldt Canal and then up a 
valley on the opposite side. They were enfiladed on both 
flanks, from the neighbourhood of Vendhuile and from Le 
Catelet. But they reached their objective at 7.30 a.m., 
and then, finding themselves practically isolated, had to go 
back step by step to near their starting point. They had 
swept a path clean, taking some 300 prisoners from 
machine-gun teams, so that the 4th King's Royal Rifles 
could advance over the same ground in the evening with 
few casualties ; but they had lost very heavily. Lieut. - 
Colonel E. H. Nicholson, D.S.O., Captains R. T. T. C. Chad- 
wick and J. M. McLaggan, M.C., R.A.M.C, Captain and 
Adjutant W. T. Humphries, Lieutenants E. C. Nepean, 
R. A. L. Davies, C. E. P. Cross, B. J. O'Connor and Second 
Lieutenant H. Marsh were killed * ; 2 officers were 
wounded, and there were 139 other ranks casualties. Few 
actions of the Royal Fusiliers had been more tragic. 
Many had been more costly, but very few had carried the 
troops to their objective only to see them compelled to 
fall back almost to the starting point with the bulk of 
their leaders killed. 

This point forms a natural division in the British offen- 
sive. By October 5th the first phase had been completed. 
" The enemy's defence in the last and strongest of his 
prepared positions had been shattered. The whole of the 
main Hindenburg defences had passed into our possession, 
and a wide gap had been driven through such near branch 
systems as had existed behind them. The effect of the 
victory upon the subsequent course of the campaign was 
decisive. The threat to the enemy's communications was 
now direct and instant, for nothing but the natural 
obstacles of a wooded and well-watered countryside lay 
between our armies and Maubeuge." f 

* This appears to have been the greatest number of officers killed in 
any one action of the Royal Fusiliers. 
t Despatch. 



320 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Second Battle of Le Cateau. — " The second and 
concluding phase of the British offensive now opened, in 
which the Fourth and Third Armies and the right of the 
First Army moved forward with their left flank on the 
canal line which runs from Cambrai to Mons, and their 
right covered by the First French Army." * The first 
stage of the subsequent fighting began with the second 
battle of Le Cateau, which was launched on October 8th. 

The 7th Royal Fusiliers were in position near Niergnies 
on the morning of the battle, and held their position while 
the division secured their objectives. During the day 
the enemy counter-attacked with tanks ; but the assault 
was easily beaten off, and when the battalion left the line 
at night they had only suffered three casualties. The 
23rd Battalion at the same time attacked and captured 
Forenville, and, despite a number of counter-attacks, held 
it all day. The 4th Royal Fusiliers, attacking a little to 
the south at 4.30 a.m., had gained their objective in less 
than two hours, but were ordered to assist the 13th 
King's in a further attack on the second objective at 
12.40 p.m. The battalion pushed ahead on to the slope 
north of Serainvillers, but were there held up by a con- 
verging machine-gun and artillery fire. Heavy casualties 
were sustained in this position, and the battalion became 
too weak to hold on to the forward line. They retired to 
the line west of Serainvillers, and at two o'clock the next 
morning withdrew to Masnieres to enable the Guard to 
take up the attack. Their total casualties were 121 
officers and other ranks ; but against this they could set 
128 prisoners, thirteen machine guns, and three guns, and 
they had so heavily treated the enemy that the Guards 
found very little opposition when they advanced. 

Both the 10th and 13th Royal Fusiliers attacked on 
this day against the Masnieres-Beaurevoir line. The 
final objective of the 10th Battalion was the sunken roads 
north-west of Hurtebise Farm. The companies moved 
off at 4.34 a.m. close to the barrage, and reached the 

* Despatch. 



13TH BATTALION ENTER BETHENCOURT 321 

Beaurevoir line to find the wire not sufficiently cut. 
There was some difficulty in passing through, and the 
machine-gun posts inside the wire took advantage of the 
situation. Two platoons of C Company were left to hold 
the Beaurevoir line, and the other companies pressed on 
and captured Bel Aise Farm, with a considerable number 
of prisoners. A platoon of C were left to complete the 
mopping up, and the battalion advanced to their final 
objectives, which they reached and held, despite an inter- 
mittent bombardment throughout the day. The objec- 
tive of the 13th Battalion was Hurtebise Farm, about 
two miles north-west of Walincourt. They started under 
the handicap of having to fight their way to their jumping- 
off line, as Bel Aise Farm and part of the Beaurevoir 
system were still incompletely cleared. But they went 
forward so rapidly that they were within half a mile of 
their objective before the barrage had gone sufficiently 
far to check the enemy machine guns on the high ground 
south of the farm. But Nos. 2 and 3 Companies pushed 
straight on, and at 7.15 a.m. had begun to consolidate 
their final position. The enemy's fire compelled them to 
withdraw from the south and east sides of the farm 
until the 1/1 Herts passed through to Briseux Wood. 

On the following day they were ordered to continue the 
advance in support of the 1/1 Herts, who reached Ligny 
en Cambresis without opposition by 8 a.m. Within less 
than two hours the 13th Royal Fusiliers had established a 
line on the road right and left of the town. They advanced 
once more on October 10th to establish strong points on 
the south and east of Caudry, thereby cutting off the town 
from the east while the 1st Essex carried out a similar 
operation on the west. The battalion met with little 
resistance, except from our own tanks, which apparently 
did not expect British troops so far east, and from the 
barrage, which was late. No. 3 Company, finding no 
resistance in their path, pushed forward, captured Bethen- 
court and threw out a line of outposts to the east. Lieut. - 
Colonel Smith and Major Whitehead had in the mean- 



322 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

time entered Caudry, where they were enthusiastically 
received by a large number of French people. In these 
three days the battalion had covered a considerable 
amount of ground, had captured 200 prisoners and some 
twenty machine guns. Their total casualties were 116, 
including Second Lieutenant E. M. Rees killed, Second 
Lieutenant J. Kinahan died of wounds, and 10 officers 
wounded. A few days later General H. Bruce Williams, 
G.O.C. 37th Division, inspected the battalion, and com- 
mended them in words which deserve record : " I am 
extremely pleased with the smartness of the battalion 
under extremely trying conditions, and also with your 
steadiness on parade. The work you have done under all 
circumstances since August 21st, when the offensive 
opened, has been of the highest order. At present you are 
the making of the 112th Brigade. You have served under 
me for two years now, and have never failed me or let me 
down. I congratulate you." 

The 1st Battalion attacked on October nth from Rieux, 
but were caught heavily by the enemy barrage while 
assembling for attack. This mischance was but the begin- 
ning of a series which dogged the steps of the battalion 
during the day. The enemy machine-gun fire was so 
sustained that the battalion were definitely held up with 
heavy loss before reaching the first objective. Rieux lies 
in a shallow valley through which the river Ereclin flows. 
To advance meant to ascend, and from the high ground 
the enemy were prepared for all such ventures. There 
were no tanks available ; but a German tank came up as 
the battalion were relieving the 73rd Brigade, fired a few 
shots and sheered off. During the night the patrols found 
that the enemy had retired, and posts were then estab- 
lished on the high ground west of Villers en Cauchies and 
St. Aubert. Captain J. H. Jacobs, M.C., Second Lieu- 
tenant G. B. Wright, and Second Lieutenant R. W. Reed 
were killed on this occasion ; 6 officers were wounded, 
and there were 125 other ranks casualties. 

Flanders. — While the Third and Fourth Armies were 



FURTHER ADVANCE IN FLANDERS 323 

approaching the Selle River the forces in Flanders were 
preparing for another attack, and this was launched on 
October 14th. The 2nd Royal Fusiliers, who took part 
in this battle, assembled near Ledeghem, and began to 
advance at 5.35 a.m. They went straight through the 
village, brushing aside the weak resistance in their stride. 
The small posts of three or four men here and there were 
quickly rushed through the smoke screen. A battery of 
field guns was surprised by No. 9 platoon of Y Company 
from the flank, and was captured with ease. The enemy 
had been so completely taken by surprise that, though 
some of the troops carrying the light bridges for the 
crossing of the Wulfdambeek lost direction in the smoke 
and caused the left flank to cross later than the right, the 
objective, the ridge lying north-east of Moorseele, at the 
limit of the field artillery barrage, was reached and con- 
solidated by 8 a.m. But when the advanced posts were 
pushed forward towards the village of Drie Masten, the 
troops were caught by machine-gun fire and were com- 
pelled to retire to the ridge, where they were shelled by 
field guns firing over open sights. In spite of this, the 
battalion stood firm until support reached them, and at 
length the Dublins and Lancashires advanced from the 
ridge. The battalion took 150 prisoners, and captured 
twenty machine guns and ten field guns. 

The 26th Battalion, attacking in the same action, 
fought a confused action north-east of Menin. With the 
124th Brigade they were to pass through the 122nd 
Brigade, but when the advance began the fog and smoke 
made it almost impossible to maintain formation. In 
such circumstances the German Army of 1916 would have 
taken a terrible toll of the assailants. Fortunately, the 
Germans were too weak and too badly shaken at this stage 
of the offensive to take full advantage. But in the ob- 
scurity small isolated encounters occurred, and the men, 
being full of confidence, profited by the chances as they 
offered. Second Lieutenant J. Layfield with two men 
rushed a field gun, killing the gunner with his revolver. A 

y 2 



324 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

battery of guns suddenly emerged from the fog at full 
gallop. But they were brought up by Lewis-gun and rifle 
fire and captured. At length, after several hours of this 
over-stimulating experience, the battalion reached Wijn- 
berg and were able to reorganise. A smart counter- 
attack pushed the men out of the village, but they were 
rallied by Captain Spottiswoode, of B Company, and the 
village was retaken. The position was consolidated, and 
on the following day patrols were sent forward from A and 
D Companies to the river Lys. Second Lieutenant J. 
Layfield penetrated to Wevelghem, but his patrol suffered 
heavy casualties. Posts were, however, established some 
500 yards ahead, and that evening the battalion were 
relieved. In the day's fighting they had captured about 
200 prisoners, fifteen field guns, a number of machine guns 
and several horses, while their total casualties were only 78. 
To the Scheldt. — The advances in Flanders and on 
the front of the Third and Fourth Armies threatened to 
turn the Lille-Douai area into a dangerous salient ; and 
while the troops operating on these fronts frequently had 
to make their way forward against the most bitter resist- 
ance, those engaged about Lens found the obstacles 
to their advance suddenly smoothed away. The 3rd 
Londons and 2/2 Londons and the 9th Royal Fusiliers had 
been brought up to this sector of the front before the 
beginning of the general offensive, and though the first 
two were lightly engaged at Loison, east of Lens, on 
October 9th, for the most part their advance eastwards to 
the Scheldt was a triumphal progress. The 9th Royal Fusi- 
liers had taken up positions east of Vimy on October 7th, 
and finding during the night that the German front 
line had been evacuated, pushed forward B and C Com- 
panies to occupy the enemy positions. Acheville was 
cleared on the 9th, and the trenches on the north up to 
the railway were occupied. A rearguard counter-attacked 
at this point, but it was crushed and a machine gun taken. 
The next few days saw an almost uninterrupted advance. 
There was a certain amount of resistance in Noyelle- 



NINTH BATTALION REACH THE SCHELDT 325 

Godault, but by October 13th the battalion had penetrated 
to the west bank of the Canal de la Haute Deule. The 
battalion rested for a few days at this stage, and on 
October 18th began to move eastwards again. It was not 
until they reached Rumegies that the battalion came 
within sight of the heels of the enemy. At the St. Amand- 
Maulde road, which they reached on the same day, October 
21st, they came under heavy machine-gun fire. Two 
platoons of D Company who attempted to move up the 
railway to the Scarpe were held up by machine-gun fire 
from Flagnies. The battalion were now in touch with 
the 58th Division on the left and the 37th Brigade on the 
right ; and they were near the Scheldt, where the enemy 
had the advantage of position and where also they must 
perforce make some attempt to stand. 

But what an extraordinary change had come over the 
situation on the Western front ! The Belgian coast was 
now in the hands of the Allies, Lille had been evacuated, 
and the Allies were now thinking not so much of the 
redemption of their territory as of the chances of a decision. 

The Selle. — In the centre of the British front the 
enemy lay upon the Selle on October 17th, and on this 
day the 3rd Royal Fusiliers co-operated in the battle 
which opened upon a front of ten miles by an attack 
aross the river between Benin and St. Souplet, and after 
hard fighting established themselves near the Le Cateau- 
Arbre Guernon road, but were beaten back in a counter- 
attack in the afternoon. The battalion, now commanded 
by Major Trasenster, were only 11 officers and 308 other 
ranks strong, and during the day they lost 98 officers and 
men. 

Courtrai-Bossuyt Canal. — The 2nd Royal Fusiliers 
once more attacked on October 20th, north of Courtrai. 
About midday they moved off in column of route behind 
the Dublins until they were within a few hundred yards 
of Esscher, when they deployed in diamond formation of 
platoons. They now began to advance almost due south, 
Z and X being directed towards the west to fill the open 



326 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

flank to the Courtrai-Bossuyt Canal. By 5 p.m. these 
two companies had taken up a line covering Kappaart and 
Krote after suffering some casualties from farms on the 
western and steeper slopes of Banhout Bosch. W Com- 
pany lay at St. Louis, in support to the Dublins on their left 
rear. On the following day the advance was resumed 
through Banhout Bosch ; but, about half-way through, the 
companies were held up by the fire from a machine gun 
installed in a farm. About 500 yards south of the edge 
of the wood Second Lieutenant H. H. Shields managed 
to get forward with three Lewis guns into some houses a 
few hundred yards to the north-west of the farm, and under 
cover of their fire the farm was rushed. In their advance 
the men had fired from the hip with good results. A 
position was taken up for the night in liaison with the 
neighbouring units. There had been very few casualties 
in this advance, the resistance being due to a few energetic 
men acting as rearguards to the Army. This was the last 
appearance of the 2nd Royal Fusiliers in action. They 
heard the news of the Armistice at St. Genois. 

While the 2nd Royal Fusiliers were advancing on the 
eastern side of the Courtrai-Bossuyt Canal on October 
21st, the 26th Battalion were operating west of the canal. 
The brigade moved forward about 11 a.m. towards the 
Laatse Oortie-Hoogstraatje Ridge. On reaching this 
point the left battalion, the 10th Queen's, were to turn 
half left and seize the canal crossing and the tunnel 
beneath. The 26th Royal Fusiliers were to move forward 
from support to the position vacated by the Queen's and 
then move forward to the Scheldt. Under the most 
favourable conditions this involved a considerable advance, 
and unfortunately the troops had only reached the ridge 
when heavy artillery and machine-gun fire caught them 
from the east of the canal. The 26th Battalion could not 
advance, despite repeated efforts ; and an attempt by D 
Company at night was also checked by unbroken wire and 
machine guns. A line was consolidated, and patrols were 
sent out ; but the latter found the enemy very vigilant, 



24TH BATTALION ENTER VERTAIN 327 

and, indeed, the defence on this sector was well maintained 
for the next few days. The battalion were relieved on the 
night of the 23rd, and when they next attacked towards 
the Scheldt, on the 25th, it was in the area east of the canal. 
But the battalion had no better luck on this occasion. 
The German barrage was very heavy, and the machine- 
gun fire so intense that the whole line was held up on the 
west of Ooteghem. Lieutenant A. E. Chambers and 
Second Lieutenant H. M. Tuck with their platoons 
attempted to enter the village from the right, but were 
driven back, both officers being mortally wounded. An 
attempt was made to rush the windmill on the ridge south- 
west of Ooteghem. Lieutenant T. Robinson, of A Com- 
pany, was killed in a first gallant dash ; but it was eventually 
captured. After further heavy losses, including Lieut. - 
Colonel H. A. Robinson, D.S.O., the battalion dug in for 
the night. Fighting patrols were pushed forward next 
day, but the battalion were relieved before they had 
reached the Scheldt, and the battle line saw them no more. 
To Mormal Forest. — Meanwhile the Selle positions had 
been taken, and the army now opened an attack having for 
its objective the general line Valenciennes — western edge 
of Mormal Forest-Sambre-Oise Canal. With this advance 
the junction of Aulnoye, which links up the Mezieres and 
Hirson main line with the Maubeuge, Charleroi and main 
lines to Germany, would be brought under effective fire. 
The 24th Royal Fusiliers took up positions west of Vertain 
on the night of October 22nd, and at 3.30 a.m. D Company 
attacked the village, C advancing against the road running 
eastward from it an hour later. Both objectives were 
gained by 5.10 a.m., though the task of reducing the village 
was by no means easy. They captured 250 prisoners and 
between fifty and sixty machine guns and much other 
booty. They were billeted in the village that night, and 
on the next morning the 23rd Royal Fusiliers carried the 
line still further forward by the capture of Ruesnes. With 
comparatively few casualties they cleared and consolidated 
the village, and sent outposts forward to the railway. 



328 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

They were assisted in their operations by the 4th Royal 
Fusiliers. On the ridge below Ruesnes were numerous 
field guns, and when the 4th Battalion crossed the river 
Ecaillon at 4.24 on the morning of the 24th, and began 
their advance up the slopes of this ridge, they came under 
point-blank fire from these guns. Many prisoners, with 
light and heavy machine guns, had already been captured ; 
and with a concerted Lewis-gun fire the German gunners 
were put to flight, and three field guns were taken. The 
battalion then continued their advance to the final 
objective, the western end of the Ruesnes- Le Quesnoy 
road. Their left flank lay just off the road from the north- 
eastern corner of Ruesnes to the railway. The battalion 
were very weak, and all four companies were in the line. 
The 4th Battalion with their brigade thereafter held the 
main line of resistance until relief, the 8th Brigade pushing 
on to gain touch with the retreating enemy. 

The nth Battalion attacked in the moonlight at 
1.20 a.m. from the railway embankment north-east of 
Le Cateau ; and, being the second wave, came under a 
very heavy bombardment as they advanced after the 
Bedfords. At the outset they had to move in single 
file across a narrow footbridge ; and, as a heavy barrage 
was playing upon it, there was a certain amount of 
nervousness. Captain Horn feck at once pushed forward 
and stood calmly at this danger spot until all the men 
were across. In the half-light, the Bedfords halted about 
500 yards short of their objective, and on this line the 
nth Royal Fusiliers passed through, Captain Hornfeck's 
company reaching their objective near the Epinette 
Farm road. But in this position they were isolated and 
were under fire from both flanks. After two hours of 
this ordeal they were compelled to fall back to the ridge 
above the road, where they found the other companies ; 
and the 55th Brigade passed through their line at 7.30 a.m. 
The battalion were about two companies strong by this 
time, but they had alone captured eleven field guns and a 
considerable number of prisoners. 



THE ECAILLON CROSSED 329 

The attack was resumed on the next morning, and again 
there was some confusion in the darkness, as a consequence 
of which the Royal Fusiliers became involved in the 
fighting before they reached the line on which they were 
to pass through the Northants. They had to beat off a 
German counter-attack at Bousies Wood Farm, and when 
they were able to advance they found the ridge in front 
of them swept with machine-gun fire. A pause was made 
in order that the position might be further treated by 
artillery ; but the barrage, when it came down, caused a 
number of casualties in our own ranks. Lieutenant E. L. 
Moody had become the commanding officer of three 
companies. He reorganised them when held up ; and, 
freely exposing himself under machine-gun fire, he was 
more than a little responsible for the battalion's final 
advance. Lieutenant P. E. Tyler also showed outstanding 
courage, and although shot through the lungs, continued 
in the direction of his company for some three hours until 
he collapsed. At night the troops held a position near 
the Robersart-Englefontaine road. 

On the second day (24th) of the battle the 13th Royal 
Fusiliers attacked from the north of Salesches, the way 
having been cleared up to this point in a spirited attack 
of the 10th Battalion on the preceding day. Some 
casualties were caused by the enemy bombardment as 
the troops were assembling, and, in the darkness, there 
was a certain amount of confusion and lack of direction ; 
but at length the battalion advanced, No. 3 Company and 
two platoons of No. 2 forming a defensive flank on the 
right against the enemy, who were still holding the high 
ground south-west of Salesches station. Shortly after 
5.30 a.m. the left company (No. 4) were held up by wire. 
The advance was resumed at seven o'clock, and the 
Ecaillon was crossed, the two platoons on the left wading 
across some 500 yards from the western edge of Ghissignies. 
In the village a few prisoners were captured and added to 
the collection, which had been steadily growing from the 
beginning of the advance. East of Ghissignies heavy fire 



330 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

was experienced from a chapel, and the leading platoon 

of No. i Company were wiped out. The left company 

were also held up by machine guns, and when they were 

reduced to a strength of 40, they were withdrawn and 

moved north-east to the orchard beyond the road. No. 1 

Company retired to the main line in front of the village, 

and at 6 p.m. the line was consolidated. On the following 

day the battalion attempted to push forward once more, 

but were held up near the De Beart Farm. The battalion 

were relieved at 9 p.m. on this day, and received the 

congratulations of the divisional commander for their 

" fine work." With 120 prisoners and numerous guns 

and trench mortars and an advance of about 5,000 yards 

to their credit, they deserved congratulations ; but they 

had lost 108 officers and men and were now reduced to 

11 officers and 269 other ranks. 

* * * * 

The war was now ringing to a close. The Royal 
Fusilier battalions who had been engaged in constant 
battles since the opening of the offensive on August 8th 
were many of them worn to the shadow of their former 
selves. The wastage in officers had been terribly high ; 
and yet, filled out with drafts, frequently young men of 
little training, they appeared in the fighting line once 
again. The astonishing thing is that they entered battle 
with the flair of the expert and were prepared for all risks. 
The last battle was now to be fought. Germany's allies 
had all forsaken her, and she had herself abandoned every 
fiction and requested an armistice. 

The Battle of the Sambre. — At dawn on Novem- 
ber 4th the First, Third and Fourth Armies struck from 
the Sambre, north of Oisy, to Valenciennes. On the left 
flank of the attack the 4th Londons crossed the river 
Aunelle at Sebourg and then turned northward to Sebour- 
quiaux and cleared it of machine guns. A Company, on 
the left, were unable to secure touch with the Canadians, 
and came under heavy machine-gun fire from Rombies ; 
but when Sebourquiaux was cleared they were able to 



STRUGGLE ON THE HONNELLE 331 

advance to the Aunelle. The main bridge had been 
destroyed, but they crossed by a footbridge and formed a 
defensive flank across the river. On the right the bat- 
talion were in touch with the Queen's Westminsters, 
but on the left their flank was still in the air. They were 
relieved the next morning on these positions, and other 
battalions of the division carried the line forward. At 
midnight on the 5th the 2nd Londons relieved the London 
Rifle Brigade, and suffered heavy casualties in moving 
into position. On the following morning they advanced 
after the barrage across a deep ravine, covered with thick 
undergrowth, to the Honnelle. The river was at this time 
swollen with the recent rains, and its steep wooded sides 
formed admirable cover for the German machine guns. 
C and D Companies reached and crossed the river, but, 
both flanks being in the air, were almost surrounded, and 
had to fall back to the western side. A and B also forced 
their way across and advanced to the railway at the edge 
of the Bois de Beaufort. But beyond this the ground 
was swept by machine guns, and the flanking battalions 
could not be located. The Germans pressed round their 
left flank, but were put to flight by a bayonet charge. 
Another party of the enemy got through the wood to the 
rear of the detachment, and the officer in charge called 
out, " Hands up ! " Half of the small detachment delivered 
another bayonet charge in reply. It was obvious that to 
recross such a river under such pressure was an extremely 
difficult operation ; yet, under the direction of Captain 
Rowlands, M.C., the detachments retired, taking their 
wounded with them. The battalion reorganised along 
their assembly positions and were relieved in the evening, 
after a total loss of 5 officers and 107 other ranks, sustained 
in attempting an operation that no troops in the world 
of equal strength could have carried out. 

The 1st Royal Fusiliers attacked on November 5th, 
advancing from Jenlain, and on the high ground east of 
Wargnies le Grand, passing through the 73rd Brigade. 
After an advance of about 5,000 yards the troops came 



332 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

into contact with the enemy about 1,000 yards west of 
the Hogneau stream, which casts a wide loop about Bavai, 
to the east. At this point there was considerable machine- 
gun fire, and the barrage put down did not affect the 
position. The battalion therefore held their ground for 
the night. At dawn on November 6th the battalion 
advanced, but were held up on the east bank of the river, 
as all attempts to carry the high ground to the east proved 
unsuccessful. The German rearguards were very stubborn 
on this part of the front. The next day the 3rd Rifle 
Brigade passed through the battalion, who on the 8th 
went into billets at Bavai, where they still lay on Novem- 
ber nth. 

On the 37th Division front both the 13th and the 10th 
Royal Fusiliers were engaged. The latter were to pass 
through the 13th King's Royal Rifles, who were to mop 
up the village of Louvignies and advance to a line about 
500 yards to the east. At this point the 10th Royal 
Fusiliers were to pass through and advance about 1,000 
yards. At five o'clock in the morning all companies were 
in position on the railway, on which shells had been fall- 
ing throughout the night. Lieutenant A. N. Usher, M.C., 
commanding A Company, was killed at this point. Half 
an hour later the companies, advancing under the barrage, 
encountered several machine-gun posts, which they 
reduced. D Company went through the village, killing or 
taking prisoner all the Germans met with, and the battalion 
reached their objective in schedule time. About 8 p.m. that 
night they went back to Beaurain after a finished little 
engagement in which, for a total loss of 52 officers and 
men, they had captured 300 prisoners, three field guns, 
a motor lorry and a large number of machine guns. 

The 13th Battalion were to pass through the Essex on 
the Red Line, nearly 3,000 yards further east, on the edge 
of the forest. In Ghissignies at 7.35 a.m. they came 
under heavy fire, and machine-gun bullets were whistling 
across the road. The companies were halted outside 
Louvignies for the Essex to come up, and at 9.40 this 



THROUGH MORMAL FOREST 333 

battalion had passed through. After crossing the 
Louvignies-Le Quesnoy road under fire at 10.45 a.m., 
they lost touch with both flanks owing to the enclosed 
nature of the ground. About noon B Company was 
moving after the Essex through Jolimetz and helping to 
mop it up ; and A Company, after helping the Essex to 
reduce a machine-gun pocket south-west of the village, 
was moving forward towards the Red Line. At 3.45 p.m., 
after surmounting the difficulties of assembling owing 
to the thick undergrowth, the companies began to enter 
the forest. It was already growing dark. There was a 
spasmodic machine-gun fire down the railway and the 
laies, and the battalion made but slow progress. They 
were only about the strength of a full company, and the 
German Army a year before would have made a jest of 
dealing with such a force in the forest. At 6 p.m. four 
platoons had reached the cross-roads about the railway, 
where a machine gun was captured and the team killed ; 
and had formed a strong point there. Posts were thrown 
out to the cross-roads about 500 yards to the south-west, 
where contact was made with the 8th Somerset Light 
Infantry. Platoon No. 9 of B Company was out of touch. 
This platoon, under Sergeant W. Green, M.M., had with 
great daring pushed on through the wood in complete 
darkness to the point where the Villereau-Berlaimont 
road is crossed by two other roads. At this point on 
November 4th the continuous area of standing trees 
ended, though there were other considerable patches of 
standing trees about 4,000 yards to the east. The 
platoon, completely isolated, dug in, patrolling for 1,000 
yards to the east, and held on until morning, when the 
5th Division passed through. The rest of the battalion, 
nearly 1,000 yards distant on the right rear, could find no 
troops on their left. Sergeant Green's platoon, in fact, 
was the only unit for at least 1,000 yards north and south 
which reached the dotted Red Line.* By 5.30 a.m. on 

* So far as I can discover, it was the most easterly post held that night 
on the British front. Sergeant Green was awarded the D.C.M. 



334 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

November 5th the battalion were on this line, and when 
they were passed by the 5th Division they went back to 
Le Rond Quesne. 

At 6.15 in the morning of the 4th the nth Royal 
Fusiliers attacked Preux au Bois. A composite company 
with the Bedfords and a company of the 6th Northants 
moved from a position north of the village already taken 
by the rest of the Northants, while the rest of the nth 
Battalion demonstrated from the west. By eight o'clock 
the composite company (C and D) were in position to 
clear the village from the north. Captain Hope, com- 
manding this company, although held up by machine-gun 
nests and the breakdown of the tank which was to deal 
with them at the beginning of the attack, eventually 
" succeeded in breaking through with some 20 men. 
Without waiting for the remainder, he at once pushed on 
with such effect that he succeeded in clearing up the 
whole area, capturing over twenty machine guns and 
some 200 prisoners, including 5 officers. The success 
of the attack in this area was entirely due to his leadership 
and determination, while the example of coolness and 
courage he gave was beyond all praise."* By 11 a.m. 
other battalions were pushing ahead, and the nth Royal 
Fusiliers' work was done. 

On the morning of November 4th the 3rd Royal 
Fusiliers took up assembly positions astride the Fontaine 
au Bois-Landrecies road, about 1,000 yards south-east 
of the village of Fontaine. The weather was damp and 
misty, and when the battalion advanced about 500 yards 
the leading companies were out of touch, and the support 
company went up to rill the gap. It was about this 
point that the 13th Royal Highlanders were held up 
on the Englefontaine road. The German machine-gun 
defence was very elaborate on this sector of the front, 
and without the co-operation of the tanks it is difficult 
to see how it could have been crushed by such light forces. 
About 8 a.m. the Scottish Horse were across the road, 

* Official account. He was awarded the D.S.O 



ADVANCE OF THE THIRD BATTALION 335 

and the 3rd Royal Fusiliers, who had been mopping up a 
few houses on their front, resumed the advance. The 
village of Les Etoquies was reached and cleared, and by 
about 11.30 the Red Line was reached and the objective 
consolidated. The Red Line lay some 3,000 yards from 
the starting point and about 1,500 yards from the Sambre. 
The outposts of the battalion extended to about half the 
distance to the river. The total casualties for the day 
were 120 officers and men, including Captain Murray 
Large, who was killed on the tape line. Field guns, 
machine guns, wagons and horses were among the captures. 

The troops reached Hachette Farm, north of the rail- 
way near the Maroilles road, at 5 p.m. on November 5th, 
and spent the night there. On the following day the 
battalion began to follow up the retreating Germans, 
crossing the Sambre below Hachette Farm and advancing 
through Laval. Little opposition was encountered, and 
when in the evening two Germans, fully equipped, were 
met with on the road, they were so surprised that they 
screamed with fright. At 8.30 p.m. on the 7th the 3rd 
Battalion were in billets at St. Remy Chauss6e when an 
order was received that deserves record : " If German 
officer bearing a flag of truce presents himself at any point 
of British front, he will be conducted to the nearest 
divisional headquarters and detained there pending 
instructions from G.H.Q." 

This was welcome news. Weariness was almost the 
chief handicap of the time. The transport animals were 
in poor condition owing to overwork, and still there was 
not enough transport. Blankets and great-coats had been 
dumped at Fontaine for this reason, and on November 7th 
wagons were sent for them. The roads were very heavy 
and much damaged by mines. 

* * * * 

On November 8th the 7th Battalion were heavily 
engaged. On the preceding day they had moved through 
Sebourquiaux, taken on November 4th by the Londons, 
and at noon on the 8th they moved along the Andregnies- 



336 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Witheries road without opposition, but met heavy machine- 
gun and trench-mortar fire before Offignies. After a brisk 
fight the enemy fell back, after inflicting five casualties. 
The battalion advanced again on November 9th, carried 
the Montroeul wood and the Eugies-Sars La Bruyere road, 
and reached a position on the road from Quevy le Petit to 

the Mons-Maubeuge road. 

* * * * 

The 3rd Royal Fusiliers advanced to Mont Dourlers on 
the 8th under heavy machine-gun fire, and amid the sounds 
of exploding mines which told their tale of continued 
retirement. Patrols on this evening were sent to the 
western edge of the forest of Beugnies. Before dawn on 
the following day the patrols began to push through the 
forest. On the left they came under machine-gun fire, 
but the centre company were through the wood by 5 a.m. 
A few hours later the battalion were withdrawn to Mont 
Dourlers to billets, thoroughly exhausted, but pleased with 
having seen the last of the enemy in the war. 

On November 10th the 7th Battalion reached the 
Nouvelles-Harveng road with little difficulty at 8.30 a.m. 
The 188th Brigade went through them at this post, and in 
the afternoon the battalion proceeded to Harveng and 
billeted there for the night. They were still in this village, 
a few miles south of Mons, when the Armistice took effect 
the next morning. On November 15th 5 officers and 180 
other ranks embussed to Mons and took part in the formal 
entry of the First Army commander. 

The 4th, 17th, 23rd, 24th, and 26th Battalions went 
into Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. The 
long-drawn-out war had come to an end. The individual 
share of any regiment in the final victory it were unwise 
to estimate. But at least it may be said in a final survey 
of the achievement of the Royal Fusiliers in Egypt, in 
Africa, in the Balkans, and on the main Western front, 
that everywhere they showed themselves worthy of the 
traditions they inherited, in fine, a very gallant company. 



APPENDIX 

THE ROLL OF HONOUR 

OFFICERS OF THE ROYAL FUSILIERS 

Adams, Ernest Frederick, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 22/6/17. 
Adams, Ralph Newton, M.C., Capt., k. in a., 10/10/16 (7/Bn., att. 

R.F.C., 23/Sq.). 
Addis, David Malcolm, 2/Lt., 26/Bn., d. of w., 9/6/17. 
Aldrick, Charles Pelham, 2/Lt., 26/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Allen, Archibald Stafford, Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 3/10/15. 
Anderson, William Francis, Capt., d. of w., 10/12/15. 
Andrews, Alan Charles Findlay, 2/Lt., 16/Bn., k. in a., 29/6/15. 
Andrews, John Leonard, M.M., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 19/5/18. 
Anketell, C. E., 2/Lt., killed, 11/5/18 (R.A.F.). 
Annesley, Albemarle Cator, D.S.O., Lt.-Col. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 

8/7/16. 
Anstice, John Spencer Ruscombe, Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 2/5/15. 
Anthony, Clarence Case, Capt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., d. of w., 15/12/15. 
Aris, Thomas Arthur, Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 16/4/17. 
Armstrong, Christopher, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/4/16 (14/Bn., att. 6/N. Lan. R.). 
Armstrong, John Owen, 2/Lt., 10/Bn., k. in a., 15/7/16. 
Arnold, A. C. P., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 18/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 
Arnould, Derek Clement, Lt., died, 7/5/18 (4/Bn., att. R.T.E.). 
Aspden, Ronald William, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., d. of w., 8/8/17. 
Astley, Aston Giffard, Major (Tp\), k. in a., 1/10/16 (att. M.G. Corps). 
Astwood, Edward Leicester Stuart, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 20/9/16. 
Attwood, Algernon Foulkes, Capt., k. in a., 8/10/14. 
Ayres, Victor Albert, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 1/9/18. 
Ayrton, Frank Frederick Joseph, Capt., 16/Bn., k. in a., 28/6/15. 
Backlake, Brian Ashber, Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Badenoch, Ian Forbes Clark, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., died, 19/3/17. 
Baker, Bertram Reginald, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/16. 
Baker, John Bartrup Harwood, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 1/9/1. 
Balbirnie, John Victor Elphinstone, 2/Lt., 23/Bn., k. in a., 7/9/18. 
Bambridge, Rupert Charles, D.S.O., M.C., M.M., Capt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., 

d. of w., 23/5/18. 
Bambridge, William Herbert, Lt. (Tp.) (A/Capt.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 

19/8/17- 
Banister, Charles Wilfred, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/6/15. 
Banks, Edward Francis, 2/Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 28/2/17. 
Bantock, Arthur Thomas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., d. of w., 23//11/15. 
Barber, George, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 16/Bn., k. in a., 3/10/16. 
Barker, Hugh Edwin, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., died, 31/1/18. 
Barnes, Edward James, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., d. of w., 4/5/18. 
Barnes, Vincent Kendall, 2/Lt., 24/Bn., k. in a., 29/4/17. 
Barnes, Wilfred Oliver, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 18/11/16. 
Barnett-Barker, R., D.S.O., Brig.-Gen., 22,/Bn., k. in a., 25/3/18. 
Barnett, Bret Hercules, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 
Barnett, Herbert William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Barrell, Victor Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), n/Bn., k. in a., 22/8/18. 
Barrett, Keith Joy, Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., d. of w., 16/4/17. 

F- Z 



338 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Barrow, Hector Henry, 2/Lt., 8/Bn., k. in a., 20/10/15. 

Barten, Donald, 2/Lt., 8 Bn., k. in a., 30/1 1/17. 

Barton, Frank Hubert, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 5/11/18 (att. T.M.B.). 

Barton, Kenneth Cyril, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9 Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Barton, Stanley Ernest, 2/Lt., k. in a. 31/7/17. 

Batty-Smith, F. C, Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 4/6/16. 

Baugh, Charles, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., d. of w., 5/4/18. 

Bayly, Harry Ayrton, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 14/6/17. 

Bayley, Reginald John, 2/Lt., 13/Bn., k. in a., 29/4/17. 

Beale, Ernest Frederick, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., k. in a., 28/4/17. 

Beausire, Herbert Arthur William, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/3/15. 

Bentley, Howard Lidyard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., k. in a., 28/2/17. 

Berrill, Bernard Francis Gotch, Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 1 7/3/1 5. 

Berry, A. L., 2/Lt., 8/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 

Bescoby, Edgar Laurence, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., d. of w., 18/6/17. 

Bettesworth, Tom, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 3/11/15 (12/Bn., att. R.E. 
172/Fld. Coy.). 

Betts, Henry Lee, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 

Bevir, R., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 15/7/16. 

Bingham, Frank Oldfield, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 14/9/18. 

Birchall, Arthur Percival, Capt. (T/Lt.-Col.), k. in a., 24/4/15 (att. Can. 
Div.). 

Bird, Clement Eustace, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., d. of w., 28/6/17. 

Bird, Eric Hinckes, Lt., d. of w., 27/6/16 (i/Bn., att. R.F.C., 25/Sq.). 

Bishop, Charles Frederick, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 4/4/18. 
Black, George Dudley Austin, Lt. (Tp.), 22/Bn., k. in a., 21/6/16. 

Blackwell, Charles, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 20/7/15. 

Blackwell, Cyril, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 16/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 

Blackwell, William Gordon, Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 5/10/16. 

Bleaden, Lionel, Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 6-9/7/16. 

Boddy, G. G. D., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 27/3/16. 

Bolland, Frederick William Henry, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 7/6/17. 

Bond, William Henry Hugh, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 22/6/17. 

Booth, John, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Bott, William Ernest, Capt. (Tp.), 9/Bn.), k. in a., 18/9/18. 

Bourne, Leonard Cecil, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., d. of w., 14/8/17. 

Bourne, S. M., Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 4-5/4/16 (8/Bn., att. 8/R.W. Fus.). 

Bowden-Smith, Walter A. C, Capt., d. of w., 28/8/14. 

Bower, Frederic William, Capt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 8/3/18. 

Bracey, Frederick Sidney, Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 13/11/16. 

Brand, Ernest Stanley, Capt., k. in a., 8/10/14 (and W.A. Rifs.). 

Brandreth, Lyall, Major, k. in a., 4/6/15. 

Bray, George Thomas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., d. of w., 26/10/17. 

Brickland, Charles Hampton, 2/Lt., k. in a., 25/3/15. 

Bridgman, William Louis, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., d. of w., 20/9/17. 

Bright, Francis John, 2/Lt., 32/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 

Broad, A. M. Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 12/7/16 (15/Bn., att. M.G.C.). 

Brodie, Sidney Edward, 2/Lt. (Tp), 17/Bn., d. of w., 17/4/17. 

Brown, Frederick Arthur, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 7/Bn., k. in a., 13/11/16. 

Brown, John Gordon, M.C., Capt., k. in a., 5/10/18 (att. 47 Div., Arty 

H.Q.). 
Brinkworth, W. H., Lt., k. in a., 4/8/18 (R.A.F.). 
Bruce, Wallace Edward, Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Buckland, C. J., 2/Lt., died, 19/8/18 (R.A.F.). 
Bulbeck, Henry Edmund, Lt. (Tp.), 16/Bn., k. in a., 6/11/16. 
Bull, Percival John, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Bullock, Robert, Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Bullock, William Acton, 2/Lt., died, 25/10/18 (att. 2/17 Lond. R.). 
Bungev, Gerald Edwards, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 4/8/16. 
Burdett, C. P. B., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9 Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 339 

Burdett, William Allan, M.C., A/Capt., i/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 

Burgess, Eric Archibald, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 1 7/2/1 7. 

Burgess, Reginald Charles, 2/Lt., 23/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 

Burnham, Andrew William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 15/Bn., k. in a., 13/11/16. 

Burton, Charles William Gordon, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 22/1 1/1 7. 

Bushell, R. H. C, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 27/7/16. 

Butchard, Robert Archibald, Lt. (Tp.), 31/Bn., k. in a., 5/11/16. 

Butterworth, Edward Cyril, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., d. of w., 21/11/17. 

Byng, Arthur Maitland, Capt., k. in a., 14/9/14. 

Calthrop, Alfred Gordon, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 

Calwell, Theophilus Legate, M.C., Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Campbell, Charles, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., d. of w., 20/4/18. 

Campbell, Frederick Charles, 2/Lt., (Tp.), 17/Bn., k. in a., 24/3/18. 

Campbell, Ronald Walter Francis, Capt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 11/8/16. 

Cane, Leonard Dobbie, Capt. and Adj. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 24/1/16. 

Carey, Francis Ambrose, 2/Lt., 32/Bn., k. in a., 15/9/16. 

Carey, Leicester William le Marchant, Capt., k. in a., 17/10/14. 

Carmichael, David Arthur, Lt., k. in a., 1 7/4/18 (3/Bn., att. M.G. Corps). 

Carpenter, Clarence, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 1 7/2/1 7. 

Carr, James Walter, M.C., D.C.M., Lt., died, 16/11/18 (23/Bn., att. 99 

T.M.B.). 
Carter, Ernest Lionel, M.M., 2/Lt., 13 Bn., k. in a., 24/10/18. 
Case, Joseph, Lt., d. of w., 15/11/18 (5/Bn., att. i/Bn.). 
Chambers, Alfred Ernest. M.C., Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 29/10/18. 
Champion, Sydney George, Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 17/3/17 (5/Bn., att. 2/K. 

Afr. Rifs., P.O.W.). 
Chapman, Donald John Stuart, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 13/7/16. 
Chard, Robert Alexander Farmer, Capt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 8/7/16. 
Chatham, George Henry. 2/Lt., 10/Bn., k. in a., 23/1 1/16. 
Chell, Harold, Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 10/8/15. 
Cheshire, Eric Corveroy, Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Christie, Murray Inglis, D.S.O., 2/Lt. (Tp.) (A/Capt.), 32/Bn., d. of w., 

34/3/iS- 
Chuter, Harry Athelstan, Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 25/3/17 (and R.F.C., 

70/Sq.). 
Clapton, Arthur, 2/Lt., 32/Bn., k. in a., 5/9/16. 
Clark, Arthur James Richard, Lt., 8/Bn., d. of w., 9/10/16. 
Clarke, Edward George, Lt. (T./Capt.), 7/Bn., k. in a., 13/11/16. 
Clifford, Watling Wallis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 12/10/17. 
Coates, W. F., Capt., d. of w., 30/4/15 (6/Bn., att. i/Bn.). 
Cocker, Arthur Wilfred Kingsley, 2/Lt., 17/Bn., k. in a., 30/1 1/17. 
Coggin, Algernon Oswald, Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 27/10/6. 
Cohen, Edward, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Cole, Mowbray Lyster Stanley Owen, Capt., died, 14/9/14. 
Cole, Wilfred Samuel, Lt. (Tp.), 25/Bn., died, 11/5/16. 
Coley, Joseph Alfred, 2/Lt. (A/Capt.), k. in a., 22/3/18 (5/Bn., att. 

4/Bn.). 
Collings, Sydney Walter, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 20/4/18. 
Collis-Sandes, Maurice, James, Capt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 1 7/2/1 7. 
Combe, Boyce Anthony, Lt., k. in a., 11/11/14 (6/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Compton, Harold A., Lt.-Col. (Tp.), 12/Bn., d. of w., 7/7/17. 
Consterdine-Chadwick, Robert Thompson Consterdine, Lt. (Tp.) 

(A/Capt.), k. in a., 4/10/18 (17/Bn., att. 3/Bn.). 
Cook, Arthur Basil Kemball, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 
Cook, S. Frank, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., k. in a., 5/8/17. 
Cooper, Frederick Edmund, Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 18/12/18. 
Cooper, Henry Weatherley Frank, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 7/Bn., d. of w., 28/4/17. 
Cooper, William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Coppack, Charles Richard Stewart, 2/Lt., d. of w., 24/3/18 (22/Bn., att. 

24/Bn.). 

z 2 



340 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Coppard, William John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., d. of w., 23/3/18. 

Corben, Victor Leslie, 2/Lt., 26/Bn., died, 22/7/18. 

Core, Charles Gooch, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 

Corlett, Douglas Stephen, T/Lt. (A/Capt.), 3/Bn., d. of w., 12/11/18. 

Cornaby, C. Ernest, M. C. Capt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., d. of w., 23/9/18. 

Cornes, Henry Percy Griffiths, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 27/9/17 (23/Bn., att. 

99/T.M.B.). 
Coull, Frederick, 2/Lt. (T/Lt.), k. in a., 30/9/18 (att. 23/Bn.). 
Coventry, Eric, 2/Lt. (Tp., 20/Bn., k. in a., 20/7/16. 
Cowell, J. G., 2/Lt., killed, 28/1/18 (att. R.F.C.). 
Cowie, Gerald James Hardwicke, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 23/4/17. 
Cowie, Lionel Jack Hardwicke, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., k. in a., 24/4/17. 
Cox, Cecil Arthur, Capt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 16/10/16. 
Cox, Henry Jack, Capt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Coxhead, Maurice Edward, Capt. (T/Major), 9/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Crabb, Thomas Henry, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., d. of w., 1 8/3/10. 
Crampton, Edgar Walter, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/10/17 (5/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 
Croal, Kenneth McFarlane, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 19/10/18 (att. 2/10 R. 

Scots). 
Crook, William George, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 9/3/18. 
Crookes, Ronald Orme, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 4/6/16. 
Cross, Christopher Edric Percy, Lt., 3/Bn., k. in a., 4/10/18. 
Crowe, Hugh Parby, Lt., drowned, 28/10/15. 

Curwen, Wilfred John Hutton, Capt., k. in a., 9/5/15 (6/Bn., att. 3/Bn.). 
Cuthbert, David, Capt. (Tp.), k. in a., 7/10/16 (29/Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 
Dadd, Reginald John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 7/Bn., k. in a., 5/4/18. 
Daines, Allan Edward, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 30/12/17. 
Daines, Roland Lewis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., k. in a., 3/8/17. 
Daniell, George Francis Blackburne, 2/Lt., k. in a., 24/4/17 (6/Bn., att. 

2/Bn.). 
Darker, Richard Owen, 2/Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 12/4/18. 
V.C. Dartnell, Wilbur, Lt. (Tp.), 25/Bn., k. in a., 3/9/15- 
Davies, Donald Frederick, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 15/4/18 (22/Bn., att. 

23/Bn.). 
Davies, Roland Arthur L., Lt. (Tp.), 3/Bn., k. in a., 4/10/18. 
Davies, William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 10/4/17. 
Davis, George Leith Blakeman, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 27/9/18. 
Davison, Robert Charles, 2/Lt., d. of w., 19/5/17 (5/Bn., att. 4 Bn.). 
Dawson, Frederick Charles Blakeman, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 3/5/17 (11/Bn., 

att. R.A.C.). 
Day, Frederick Charles, Capt., k. in a., 31/7/17 (att. 12/Bn.). 
Day, Hubert Francis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 
Day, Hubert Victor, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 9/4/17- 
V.C. Dease, Maurice James, Lt., k. in a., 23/8/14. 
De Beck, George Clifford, 2/Lt. (Tp ), 23/Bn., k. in a., 18/2/17. 
De Trafford, Ralph Edric Galfrid Antony, Lt., k. in a., 25/4/15. 
De Trafford, Thomas Cecil, Capt., k. in a., 10/11/14. 
Dilnutt, Eric William, Lt. (T/Capt), 8/Bn., k. in a., 2/3/16. 
Disnev, Arthur William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 30/1 1/1 7. 
Dixon", Robert William, M.M., 2/Lt., (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 5/9/18. 
Docker, George Arthur Murray, Capt., k. in a., 17/11/14. 
Done, Neville Savage, 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/3/17 (6/Bn., att. 22/Bn.). 
Doudney, Hugh Denham, A/Capt., 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Douglas-Crompton, Sidney Harold Lionel, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., k. in a., 7/6/17. 
Downing, Ernest Gillespie, Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Drinkill, Frederick Maurice, Lt., 2/Bn., d. of w., 1/7/16. 
Drummond, Samuel Frederick, 2/Lt., 17/Bn., k. in a., 29/7/17. 
Dudley, Leonard Thomas, M.C., Lt., 10/Bn., d. of w., 8/10,18. 
Dudley, Walter Joseph, Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 16/6/15. 
Du Maurier, Guy Louis Busson, D.S.O., Lt.-Col., k. in a., 10/3/15. 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 341 

Dunnington-Jefferson, Wilfred Mervyn, 2/Lt., k. in a., 22-29/4/15 (7/Bn., 

att. 3/B11.). 
Dunwell, Frederick Leslie, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., k. in a., 4/1/16. 
Dupres, Ernest Cruzick, T/Lt. (A/Capt.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 29/8/18. 
Dutch, Ernest James, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 6/1/17 (14/Bn., att. 25/7/Bn.). 
Eagar, Rowland Tallis, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/8/18 (att. 9/Bn.). 
Eames, William Stanley, Lt., d. of w., 16/2/16 (7/Bn., att. 12/Bn.). 
Eathorne, Francis John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 21/7/16. 
Eborall, John Arthur, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., d. of w., 25/2/17. 
Echlin, Frederick St. John Ford North, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., d. of w., 27/9/16 

(and R.F.C.). 
Ede, Edwin William, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), A/Capt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 30/8/18. 
Edwards, Albert John, 2/Lt., T./Lt., 26/Bn., k. in a., 2/8/17. 
Edwards, Guy Thulkeld, Capt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/16- 
Edwards, Leslie Edward, M.C., Capt. (Tp.), d. of w., 6/1 2/1 7 (6/Bn., att. 

8/Bn.). 
Edwards, Wilfred William, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., d. of w., 22/1/17. 
Elliott, Walter, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 13/11/16. 
V.C. Elliott-Cooper, Neville Bowes, D.S.O., M.C., Lt.-Col. (Tp.), 

8/Bn., d. of w., 11/2/18 (in German hands). 
Enderby, Arthur Aaron, Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., d. of w., 2/8/17. 
Etheridge, Hugh Dimsdale, M.C., M.M., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., d. of w„ 

2/10/18. 
Evans, James Bansall, Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 20/8/16. 
Evans, Lawrence Picton, Lt., k. in a., 21/8/18 (6/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Farquharson, Peere William Nesham, 2/Lt., 26/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Featherstonhaugh, G. R. A., Capt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 8/7/16. 
Fergusson, Robert Arthur, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/4/17 (6/Bn., att. 17/Bn.). 
Ferrier, Gilbert Colin Cunninghame, 2/Lt., k. in a., 11/11/14 (7/Bn., att. 

4/Bn.). 
Fetherstonhaugh, Harry, 2/Lt., k. in a., 25-27/10/14. 
Field, Arthur Clarence Henley, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 4/4/16 (14/Bn., att. 

4/S.W. Borderers). 
Field, William James, M.C., 2/Lt., i/Bn., k.in a-, 31/7/17. 
Fielding, Alexander, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 26/10/18 (att. 

124/L.T.M.B.). 
Fisher, Percy Watkins, 2/Lt., 22/Bn., k. in a., 1 2/9/16. 
Fitch, Louis C, 2/Lt. (Tp.), i/Bn., k. in a., 28/7/18. 
Fitton, Norman, 2/Lt., k. in a., 14/11/6 (7/Bn., att. 22/Bn.). 
Fitzclarence Augustus Arthur Cornwallis, Capt., k. in a., 28/6/15. 
Flack, Wilfred George, M.C., Lt., d. of w., 7/9/17. 
Fletcher, Arthur Joseph, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 33/4/17. 
Fletcher, Robert Henry, Lt. (Tp.), 14/Bn., k. in a., 27/7/16. 
Ford, A., 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/5/ x 5- 
Ford, John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 25/Bn., died, 16/6/16. 
Ford, Richard Nagle, M.C., Capt. (T/Major), k. in a., 6/1/18. 
Forster, Frederick Albert, Capt., d. of w., 23/8/15. 
Forster, Herbert Cyril, Capt., k. in a., 25/5/15. 
Forster, John, M.C., Capt. (A/Major), 7/Bn., d. of w., 2/10/18. 
Forsyth, Gordon Amhurst, 2/Lt., 8/Bn., k. in a., 27/8/16. 
Foster, Edward, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 23/4/17. 
Fowler, Charles Jefford, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 22/Bn., d. of w., 1/6/16. 
Fox, Charles Joseph, 2/Lt., k. in a., 29/6/16 (16/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 
Francis, William Joseph, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 22/3/18. 
Franklin, Francis, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/15. 
Franklyn, Henry, Capt. (Tp.), 8/Bn.), k. in a., 8/7/16. 
Fraser, Donald Charles, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/17 (5/Bn., att. 9/Bn.). 
Freston, Charles Albert Edward, 2/Lt., d. of w., 25/3/18 (5/Bn., att. 

23/Bn.). 
Friedberger, William Sigismund, Capt., k. in a., 24/5/15 (3/Bn., att. 5/Bn. \ 



342 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Fripp, Joseph, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., died, 12/3/18. 

Fugeman, William Alfred, Capt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 1/12/17. 

Fuller, Dunstan Milley, M.C., Capt. (Tp.), n/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 

Fuller, Morris Richard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 11/4/17. 

Gaddum, R. Charles Sydney, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., k. in a., 10/9/16. 

Gardiner, C. T., 2/Lt., d. of w., 1/6/15. 

Gardiner, Kenneth Edward MacAlpine, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/10/15 (14/Bn., 

att. 8/Bn. Lond. Regt.). 
Garnons-Williams, Richard Davie, Lt.-Col., 12/Bn., k. in a., 25/9/15. 
Garrad, Edward Victor, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 22/1/16 (14/Bn., att. 

6/N.Lan. R.). 
Garratt, Leslie Thomas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., d. of w., 3/7/16. 
Gibson, Pendarves Christopher Foil, Lt. (Tp.), I3/Bn., k. in a., 10/4/17. 
Gilbert, Edward Burton, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 25/Bn., k. in a., 21/3/18. 
Gilbert, John Ewart, Capt. (Tp.), died, 6/11/18. 
Gilbert, L. S., 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 4/4/16 (13/Bn., att. 8/R.W. Fus.). 
Gill, Colin, 2/Lt., 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 

Gjems, Albert Ole Moller, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/8/17 (5/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 
Goddard, Frederick Sidney, 2/Lt , 4/Bn., k. in a., 15/12/17. 
Goddard, Philip Henry Thomas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 26/9/16. 
Godfrey, Frederick, 2/Lt. (T/Capt.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 16/8/16. 
Goff, Alfred Laurence, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 16/1/17 (14/Bn., att. 6/L.N. 

Lanes) . 
Goldthorp, Guy, Capt, (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 23/4/17. 
Goodman, P. N., Capt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 3/3/16. 
Goolden, Donald Charles, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/8/16 (6/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Gonne, M. E., M.C., Capt., k. in a., 7/8/18 (and R.A.F.). 
Gordon, Alexander Maurice, Lt., k. in a., 23/1/16. 
Gordon, Gerald Montague, Capt. (Tp.), k. in a., 9/6/17 (5/Bn., att. 

12/Bn.). 
Gordon, S. E., Lt., k. in a., 13/3/15 (6/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Gorst, E. W., 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 25/10/14. 
Gosling, Frederick Horace, 2/Lt., 32/Bn., k. in a , 7/6/17. 
Grady, Walter Henry, 2/Lt., k. in a., 22/4/15 (att. 3/Bn.). 
Granville, Basil Raymond, 2/Lt. (A/Capt.), 7/Bn., k. in a., 23/4/17. 
Gray, Hubert McKenzie, A/Capt., n/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 
Gray, John Hunter Wood, T/Capt. and Qtm., 17/Bn., died, 17/11/18. 
Greathead, Alan. T/Capt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 20/1 1/1 7. 
Green, Henry Morris, Capt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 4/8/16. 
Green, Leslie Alan, 2/Lt., k. in a., 13/11/16 (6/Bn., att. 23/Bn.). 
Greenwood, Charles Stuart, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., died, 21/7/16. 
Gregory, Stanley Harris, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 13/11/16 (15/Bn., att. 

24/Bn.). 
Griffith, Rupert Varden De Burgh, Lt., k. in a., 12/3/15. 
Griffiths, Charles Ridley, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 7/Bn., d. of w., 1/5/17. 
Griffiths, Leon David, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 29/4/17 (24/Bn., att. 

5/T.M.B.). 
Grisot, Reginald, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 6/8/18. 
Gudgeon, Frederick Gustavus, Capt. (Tp.), k. in a., 28/6/15 (10/Bn., 

att. 2/Bn.). 
Gush, William George, 2/Lt. (Tp.) (A/Capt.), k. in a., 23/4/17. 
Guyon, George Sutherland, Lt.-Col., 2/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Gwynne-Vaughan, Kenneth Duncan, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 15/Bn. k. in a., 6,'g/i6 

(and33/M.G.C). 
Haddon, Vernon, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 
Hall, Geoffrey, M.C., Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 20/1 1/17. 
Hall, William Ernest, Lt., 5/Bn., k. in a., 23/5/15. 
Hamilton, Albert Edward, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 18/8/17. 
Hammond, Robert Whitehead, M.C., Capt. (Tp.) (A/Lt.-Col.), 26/Bn., 

d. of w., 30/9/17. 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 343 

Hanna, David Wishart, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 24/6/16. 
Harding, Charles Egerton Hugh, Capt. (Bt. -Major), died, 10/12/17. 
Harding, Donald Stanley, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.) (A/Capt.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 

10/4/17. 
Hardman, Adrian Thomas, Lt., 4/Bn., d. of w., 30/3/16. 
Hardman, Frederick McMahon, 2/Lt., k. in a., 29/10/14. 
Hardy, Ferdinand H., Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 4/9/16 (2/Bn., att. 22/M G.C.). 
Harrup, Frederick Charles Leonard, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 

21/9/18. 
Harter, Clements Jesse, Lt., k. in a., 16/6/15. 
Harvey, Albert Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Harvey, R. W., 2/Lt., 17/Bn., died, 22/10/18 (and R.A.F.). 
Havelock, Ernest Wilfrid, Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 18/9/16. 
Haviland, John Doria. Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 16/7/16. 
Hawkins, Kenneth Edwards, M.C., Lt. (A/Capt.), 7/Bn., k. in a. 

22/3/18. 
Hawkridge, Joseph Arnold, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 6/11/16 (15/Bn., att. 

9/Suss. R.). 
Haycraft, Alan Montague, Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16 (6/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 
Hayes, Claude Julian Patrick, Capt. (A.), i/Bn., k. in a., 9/8/16. 
Hayward, Cecil Bernard, Capt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 27/7/16. 
Hayward, Edward John, 2/Lt., k. in a., 12/11/15 (5/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 
Heathcote, Martin Arthur, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 18/7/16. 
Heaver, Douglas Cams, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 4/8/16. 
Heinemann, John Walter, Capt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., d. of w., 6/3/16. 
Helmore, S. T. J., 2/Lt., 23/Bn., killed, 14/5/18 (and R.A.F.). 
Hendriks, Augustus Mark, Capt., k. in a., 25/5/15. 
Hendry, Charles Arthur, 2/Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 27/3/18. 
Henley, Frederick, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 27/10/16. 
Hersee, Charles Patrick Allen, 2/Lt. (Tp.),, 9/Bn., k. in a. ,3/3/16. 
Hicks, Frank Alan, M.C., Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 21/8/18. 
Hicks, Walter Gerald, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 12/8/15. 
Hiddingh, Stephen Van Der Poel, Lt. (A/Capt.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Hilder, Maurice Lake, M.C., Lt. (T/Capt.), k. in a., 3/5/17 (5/Bn., att. 

23/Bn.). 
Hill, William Ernest, Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 8/8/18. 
Hine, T. C, 2/Lt., 20/Bn., k. in a., 20/7/16. 
Hinton, Norman Charles, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., d. of w., 4/4/18. 
Hoare, Walter, John Gerald, D.S.O., Capt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 

25/10/16. 
Hobbs, Frank Matthew, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/9/14. 
Hodding, James Douglas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 10/7/16. 
Hodges, Charles Edward, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/6/15. 
Hodges, Sydney Howard, 2/Lt., k. in a., 17/10/14. 
Hodgson, Michael Reginald Kirkman, Capt., k. in a., 17/3/15 (att. 

York L.I. ). 
Hogbin, Raymond, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Holdcroft, Eric Crane, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 4/10/17 (Res., att. 13/Bn.). 
Holland, Jack Harold, 2/Lt., 22/Bn., died, 16/6/18 (and R.A.F.). 
Hollands, Wilfrid George, 2/Lt., k. in a., 12/10/16 (7/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Honeywill, Stanley Ross, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 8/10/18. 
Hope-Johnstone, Henry Murray, M.C., Capt. (A/Major), d. of w., 

31/7/17 (att. 12/Bn.). 
Hosegood, Henry Arnold, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., k. in a., 24/2/15. 
Houghton, William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 9/4/16 (11/Bn., att. 15/Bn.) (att. 

8/R.W. Fus.). 
Howard, Leslie Rayner, Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 27/3/16. 
Howells, David Geoffrey, 2/Lt. (Tp.), died, 1/12/18. 
Hudson, Arthur Cyril, Major (Tp.), d. of w., 2/10/16 (att. 11/Bn.). 
Hughes, Sidney Russell, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 30/9/18 (23/Bn., att. 1 i/Bn), 



344 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Hughes, William Francis, M.C., M.M., Lt., 17/Bn., d. of w., 7/9/18. 

Hugill, Edwin Abbott, Capt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., died, 25/9/17. 

Hugill, Valentine Francis Herbert, 2/Lt., 16/Bn., k. in a., 16/10/16 (and 

R.F.C., 42/Sq.). 
Hume, Ronald, Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 6/4/17 (and R.F.C., 20/Sq.). 
Humphreys, William Thomas, Lt. (T/Capt. and Qr-Mr.), 3/Bn., k. in a., 

4/10/18. 

Humphrys, Stewart Francis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 26/8/16 (20/Bn., 

att. 14/Bn.). 
Hunter, Arthur Lawrence, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 8/8/18. 
Hyams, Alec Hallenstein, Lt., k. in a., 3/5/15 (9/Bn., att. 3/Bn ) 
Illing, Francis, 2/Lt., d. of w., 8/5/18 (5/Bn., att. 13/Bn.). 
Inghs, W. R., Col., 33/Bn., died, 30/3/16. 
Ireland, Joseph Knowles, Capt., 26/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Isaacs, Vincent Harcourt, 2/Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 21/9/18. 
Jackson, Arthur Rushton, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 25/4/18 
Jackson, John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 26/Bn., 20/9/17. 
Jacob, Arthur Henry Augustus, Lt., 4/Bn., d. of w., 16/7/16. 
Jacobs, John Harry, M.C., A/Capt., i/Bn., k. in a., 11/10/18. 
Jeffcoat, Stanley Ferns, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 22/Bn., d. of w., 29/4/17. 
Jeffreys, Hubert Leslie, 2/Lt., 13/Bn., k. in a., 29/4/17. 
Jepson, Norman Richard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 15/10/15 (14/Bn., att. 
2/Bn.). 

Johnson, Newton Farring, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 16/8/16 (15/Bn., att. 

26/Bn.). 
Johnson, Robert Deane, Capt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 6/7/16. 
Judge, Wilfred Justice, 2/Lt., d. of w., 21/8/16 (5/Bn., att. i/Bn ). 
Juniper, John Harvey, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 30/4/17. 
Kay, Albert, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 1/8/17. 
Kaye, Frank Leon, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 11/4/17 (5/Bn., att. 9/Bn.). 
Kentfield, Edwin Nelson, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 17/2/17. 
Kerry, Albert, 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 22/3/18. 
Kilmister, Harold Howard Linsdell, M.C., Lt., k. in a., 22/8/18 (5/Bn 

att. 9/Bn.). 
Kinahan, James, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., d. of w., 8/10/18. 
King, Alan Howard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 22/8/18. 
Knight, Arthur George, Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 29/6/15. 
Knott, Charles Singleton, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 23/3/18. 
Lamb, Harold George Wellesley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/10/18 (6/Bn., att 

10/Bn.). 
Lambert, George, 2/Lt., k. in a., 22/4/15. 

Lambert, Leonard Walter, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 28/3/18 (att. 4/Bn ) 
Larcombe, Henry Reginald Reader, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 2/9/17 
Large, Ronald Murray, Lt. (A/Capt.), 7/Bn., k. in a., 4/11/18. 
Law, James Kidston, Capt., k. in a., 21/9/17 (and R.F.C., 60/Sq.). 
Lawford, Herbert Martin Benson, Capt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a 7/10/16 
Lawrence, John James, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 23/10/18. 
Lawrence, Norman Alan, 2/Lt., k. in a., 30/4/17 (and R.F.C., 16/Sq ). 
Leatherland, Frederick Arthur, 2/Lt. (Tp.), n/Bn., k. in a., 7/8/18. 
Lecky, John Rupert Frederick, Capt., k. in a., 28/9/15 (7/B11 att 

Norf. R.). J v// " 

Lee, William Robert Charles Paul, 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/7/15 (7/B11., att. 

R. Welsh Fus.). 
Leeming, Alfred Johnson, 2/Lt. (A./Capt.), 6/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Legge, Hugo Molesworth, Lieut., k. in a., 5/5/ 15. 
Lelievre, Albert Frederic Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., d. of w., 4/8/16. 
Le Marchant, S. H., 2/Lt., d. of w., 25/5/15 (6/Bn., att. 3/Bn.). 
Lenton, Harold Bertram, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 30/10/17. 
Lethbridge, Cecil Augustus, Lt., 8/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Leslie, Frank King, Capt., k. in a., 25/4/15. 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 345 

Levi, Harry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 30/11/17. 

Lewis, David Jacob, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., k. in a., 28/2/17. 

Ling, Frederick William, Capt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 27/6/17. 

Linstead, Douglas Walter, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 6/5/16. 

Lipp, Vernon Robertson, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1 7/6/16 (5/Bn., att. 12/Bn.). 

Lissaman, Arthur John, Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 13/4/17. 

Little, Norman James Richard, Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., I3/3/ 1 ?- 

Long, William Charles, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., d. of w., 31/8/18. 

Longman, Frederick, Lt., k. in a., 18/10/14. 

Lowe, George Stanley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1 8/9/1 8 (att. 9/Bn.). 

Lucas, John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., d. of w., 28/12/17. 

Lupton, Frank William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 4/8/16. 

Macartney, Hussey Burgh George, Capt., i/Bn., k. in a., 24/6/15. 

Macdougall, Allen, Capt. (Tp.), 22/Bn., k. in a., 4/8/16. 

Mackadam, Harold James, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 7/Bn., k. in a., 30/12/17. 

Mackay, Alexander William, M.C., Capt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 28/9/17. 

Mackay, Angus, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., d. of w., 10/5/18. 

Maclean, Donald Frederick Durant, Major (Tp.), died, 10/12/17. 

McCarthy, Alexander, 2/Lt. (Tp.), i3/Bn., k. in a., 23/8/18. 

McCullum, Rae Bruce, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 2/9/17 (4/Bn., att. 9/Bn.). 

McGregor, Ian Alexander, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 10/9/16 (2/Bn., att. 

2/N'd. Fus.). 
Mclntyre, James Lennie, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 14/5/18. 
McMahon, Norman Reginald, D.S.O., Brig. -Gen., k. in a., 11/11/14 

(H.Q. 10 Inf. Bde.). 
McNaught, Ernest Henry, 2/Lt., 12/Bn., k. in a., 18/7/16. 
Magnay, Philip Magnay, Capt. (T/Lt.-Col.), k. in a., 13/4A7 (att. 12/Bn. 

Manch. R.). 
Maguire, Edward Alphonsus, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 8/10/18 (att. 4/Bn.). 
Malcolm, Albert Victor Sadler, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 17/2/17 (16/Bn., att. 

11/Bn.). 
Manson, John Cochrane, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 
Marquard, John, Lt. (Tp.), (A/Capt.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 23/8/18. 
Marsh, Harold, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., k. in a., 4/10/18. 
Marshall, Dudley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/9/17 (6/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Marsland, Eric Forbes, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16 (6/Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 
Martin, Bertram Charles, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 13/4/17. 
Martin, Harold, Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 

Mason, Arthur Edward Wright, Capt., k. in a., 2/3/16 (7/Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 
Mason, Royston Alfred Robson, 2/Lt., d. of w., 20/1 1/1 7 (5/Bn., att. 

2/Bn.). 
Massey, Louis Oger, 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 21/8/16. 
Masters, Charles William, 2/Lt., k. in a., 30/8/17 (5/Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 
Masters, Geoffrey, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 9/4/17. 
Masterton, Frank, 2/Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 5/4/ lS - 
Matthews, Charles Henry, 2/Lt., i/Bn., d. of w., 22,3/18. 
Maude, Gervase Henry Francis, 2/Lt., d. of w., 9/4/17 (att. 8/Bn.). 
Mawdsley, Norman Hargreaves, Lt., 6/Bn., died, 1 7/6/18. 
Mayer, Frank, Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 3/10/18 (att. 4/Bn.). 
Mead, Bernard Wallace, 2/Lt., d. of w., 2/6/15. 
Mead, Joesph Frederick, 2/Lt., k. in a., 23/8/14. 
Mead, Robert John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 2/8/15. 
Meares, Cecil Stanley, Capt. (Tp.), k. in a., 30/7/16 (19/Bn., att. 24/Bn.). 
Mears-Devenish, John Augustus, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 22/3/18 (12/Bn., 

att. i/Bn.). 
Measures, William Henry, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 22/8/18 (5/Bn., 

att. 1 i/Bn.). 
Mellor, Harold Welton, Capt. (Tp.), died, 28/5/18 (15/Bn., att. 2/K.A.R.). 
Menzies, Alastair Forbes, D.S.O., Lt. (Tp.) (A/Capt.), 17/Bn., k. in a., 

4/5/iS. 



346 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Mepham, Horace Leslie, 2/Lt., k. in a., 11/4/18 (6/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 

Meredith, Eric D., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., k. in a., 4-10/10/16. 

Meyricke, Robert James Francis, T/Major (A/Lt.-Col.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 

17/2/17. 
Miall-Smith, Ralph A., Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 26/9/16. 
Michell, Noel Burgess, Capt. (Tp.), n/Bn., k. in a., 22/3/18. 
Miles, John Harris, 2/Lt., k. in a., 27/9/15 (7/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Miles, Leonard Percy, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16 (6/Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 
Millson, Alvan Ewen, Capt. (Act.), 6/Bn., k. in a., 9/4/17. 
Milway, Edwin Horace, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 8/10/18. 
Minchin, William Smith, M.C., Capt. and Qr.-Mr., 11/Bn., k. in a., 

20/4/18. 
Monkman, Fred Kerbey, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 28/9/17. 
Morgan, Albert Ernest, Capt., k. in a., 10/3/15 (att. R.F.C.). 
Morgan, F. J., 2/Lt., 7/Bn., d. of w., 16/5/18 (and R.A.F.). 
Morgan, William Alfred, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 23/4/17. 
Morris, Collin Dwight, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 14/3/16. 
Mortimer, Leonard James, Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., d. of w., 24/1 1/17. 
Mortlock, Percy George, 2/Lt., 26/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Moscrop, William Noel Jobson, M.C., 2/Lt. (A/Capt.), k in a., 27/5/18 

(att. 5/Durh. L.I.). 
Mott, Francis Stanley, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., d. of w., 23/7/16. 
Mount, Edward Alfred, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 4/1/16. 
Moxon, Gerald John Mortimer, Capt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 27/3/16. 
Mullane, Bernard Patrick, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., d. of w., 1/4/18. 
Mundey, Lionel Clement, Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 6/6/15. 
Munds, Percy, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 7/Bn., d. of w., 8/10/18. 
Murless, Herbert Reginald, M.C., Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 7/2/17 (i/Bn., att. 

12/Bn.). 
Murphy, Harry Eustace, Lt., 1/4/Bn. (and R.A.F.), k., 22/4/18. 
Murray-Smith, Geoffrey, Lt., k. in a., 29/9/15 (6/Bn., att. 3/Bn.). 
Nathan, William Sylvester, 2/Lt., k. in a., 14/6/16 (att. 12/Bn.). 
Neate, Nelson Rayner, M.C., Capt., k. in a., 3/5/17 (11/Bn., att. 

H.A.C.). 
Neate, William, 2/Lt., 24/Bn., k. in a., 24/3/18. 
Neely, Clive William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 14/Bn., died, 20/6/16. 
Neighbour, Walter Bayard, 2/Lt. (Tp), 4/Bn., d. of w., 16/8/16. 
Newcomb, Cyril, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 25-28/9/15. 
Newland, Edward Albert, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 23/10/18. 
Newnham, Alfred Geoffrey, 2/Lt., k. in a., 11/11/14. 
Nicholls, John Watson, Lt., 5/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Nicholson, Albert, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 8/8/18. 
Nicholson, Bruce Hills, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/17 (6/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Nicholson, Edward Hills, D.S.O., Major, A/Lt.-Col., k. in a., 4/10/18 

(att. East Surr. R.). 
Nield, Wilfred Herbert Everard, Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Noel, Honble. Robert Edmund Thomas More, Capt., died, 2/2/18 (6/Bn., 

att. i/Nigerian R.). 
Norman, Garnet, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 2/4/18. 
Norris, Cyril Norman, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., d. of w., 19/8/17. 
Norwell, Herbert, 2/Lt., k. in a., 12/4/18 (5/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 
Notcutt, Leonard, Ernest, Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17 (and 27/M.G.C). 
Nyren, Dudley Richard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 24/3/18. 
O'Connor, Bernard Joseph, Lt. (Tp.), 3/Bn., k. in a., 4/10/18. 
Ohlmann, G. A. L., 2/Lt., k. in a., 29/9/15. 
Oliver, Edgar Alexander, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 27/7/16- 
Orbell, Ivan Scott, 2/Lt., k. in a., 25/10/17. 
Osborn, Ernest John, M.C., Lt. (Tp.),(A/Capt.), d. of w., 13/4/18 (att. 

5/T.M.B.). 
Osborne. H. C. B. Major (Tp.), 27/Bn., died, 28/6/16. 






THE ROLL OF HONOUR 347 

Osborne, Robert Lionel, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k.in a., 7/7/ 86 (i4/ Bn -> att - 9/Bn.). 

Ottley, Glendower George, Major (Tp.), k. in a., 3/9/16. 

Ozanne, Edward Graeme, Capt., d. of w., 16/2/15. 

Paddock, William Francis, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., d. of w., 9/4/17. 

Page-Green, Reginald Sebastian, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a, 

22/6/7. 
Paiba, Ellis James Alfred, Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 20/10/15 (15/Bn., att.. 

2/Bn.). 
Pallet, Edward Roy, Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 6/4/18. 
Palling, William Lionel, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 15/3/16 (att. 

iii/T.M.B.). 
Palmer, Edward Charles Maxwell, 2/Lt., k. in a., 23/4/17 (13/Bn., att 

iii/T.M.B.). 
Palmer, John Henry, Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 20/7/16. 
Parker, Walter Henry, Lt. (A/Capt.), k. in a., 15/6/17 (att. 2/4 Lon. R.) 
Parkes, Robert Lionel, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Parr, Wilfred Alexander, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Parr-Dudley, John Huskisson, 2/Lt. (Tp.) 11/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Parr-Dudley, Walter, 2/Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 5/4/ lS - 
Parry, William Henry Liddon, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., d. of w., 29/1 1/16. 
Parsons, Alfred Ernest, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Parsons, George Jonathan, 2/Lt., d. of w., 31/8/18 (att. 4/Bn.). 
Patman, Harold George, 2/Lt., 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Pattinson, H. L., Capt. and Adj., k. in a., 4/8/15 (att. 9/Bn.). 
Payne, William Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 22/Bn., k. in a., 17/2/17. 
Pearson, Angus John William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 14/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Pearson, John Ashworth, Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 4/8/16. 
Pearson, Neil M., 2/Lt., k. in a , 17/8/16 (5/Bn., att. i/Bn.). 
Peaston, Leslie Gordon, 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 21/3/18. 
Peecock, Edward Gordon, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 
Pennington, Harold Cocking, Lt. (Tp.), i/Bn., d. of w., 20/6/17. 
Penny, Bernard Willoughby, 2/Lt., 2/Bn., d. of w., 18/8/17. 
Penny, Stanley, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 14/Bn., d. of w., 28/7/16. 
Penrose, Harold, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 27/3/17 (12/Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 
Penrose, Harold Wesley, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 26/3/18. 
Penwarden, William Francis, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 31/8/18. 
Perraton, Frank Mayvour, 2/Lt., 22/Bn., k. in a., 29/4/17. 
Perrier, William Samuel, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 27/3/16. 
Perry, Cullen Hay, Lt. (Tp.), died, 3/2/18 (and R.F.C.). 
Persse, Henry Wilfred, M.C., Capt. (A/Major), 2/Bn., d. of w., 28/6/18. 
Phillipps, The Honble. Rowland Erasmus, Capt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 

7/7/16. 
Phillips, Sydney, Capt., 12/Bn., k. in a., 25/10/15. 
Pickop, James Taylor Greer, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., d. of w., 21/6/17. 
Pickop, William Bannister Augustus, Lt., 4/Bn., d. of w., 24/10/18. 
Pilgrim, Hugh Thomas, M.C., Capt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 25/8/18. 
Pincombe, Lionel John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Pinney, John Charles William Adderley, Lt., k. in a., 1/12/17 (i/Bn., att. 

38/Horse). 
Pitt, Geoffery Stanhope, T/Capt., 26/Bn., died, 11/2/19. 
Pollak, Otto Dennis, Lt., 17/Bn., k. in a., 8/7/16. 
Porter, Robert Ernest, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., d. of w., 10/8/17. 
Portlock, Alfred Edgar, 2/Lt. (Tp.), killed, 6/12/17 (att. R.F.C.). 
Potts, Ernest Alexander, M.C.. 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 15/10/18 (24/Bn., 

att. 10/Bn.). 
Powell, Eric Layton, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 16/4/17. 
Pratt, William George James, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 28/9/17. 
Price, Harold Strachan, 2/Lt.( Tp.), k. in a., 24/5/15. 
Price, John Thomas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn. , k. in a., 20/7/16. 
Price-Edwards, Owen, Capt S Bn., k. in a., 22/6/16. 



348 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Pride, A. R., 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 

Prior, H. L., 2/Lt., died 3/7/18 (1/4/Bn., att. R.A.F.). 

Procter, Alexander Duncan Guthrie, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 

Prynne, Edgar George Fellowes, T/Lt. (A/Capt.), k. in a., 16/9/16 

(4/Bn., att. 1/23 Lond. R.). 
Pugh, C. Arthur, 2/Lt., 26/Bn., k. in a., 10/10/16. 
Puzey, Arthur Kenneth, Capt., k. in a., n/n/14. 

Pye, Francis John, Capt., k. in a., 15/12/16 (5/Bn., att. Gold Coast Rgt.). 
Quin, James Davidson, 2/Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 19/8/18. 
Radcliffe, David, Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 18/3/16. 
Radford, Francis Buckley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 25/3/18 (3/Bn., att. 13/Bn.). 
Raine, George Stevenson, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k., 1 5/3/17 (26/Bn., att. R.F.C.). 
Ralfs, Arthur, Lt., d. of w., 16/9/16 (5/Bn., att. 9 Lanes. Fus.). 
Ramsay, A., Lt., 5/Bn., died, 28/4/15. 
Ramsbottom, Reginald, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 29/7/16 (29/Bn., att. 

17/Bn.). 
Randall, Edwin Walter, Lt., 7/B11., k. in a., 23/4/17. 
Ranken, Dudleigh Chalmers, Capt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 27/7/16. 
Rattigan, Cyril Stanley, Capt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 13/11/16. 
Rattray, David Lindsay, Capt, (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 17/2/17. 
Rawlins, Gerald Edmund Adair, Capt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 
Rawson, Stuart Milner, Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 20/7/16. 
Reed, James Richard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 24/11/17. 
Reed, Russell Walter, 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 11/10/18. 
Rees, Eric Montague, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/10/18 (6/Bn., att. 13/Bn.). 
Rigby, Charles, Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 4/11/18 (R.A.F.). 
Remington, Wallace, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 23/3/18. 
Rennie, Donald Williamson, 2/Lt., k. in a., 11/11/14. 
Richards, Percival Morgan, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 15/7/16. 
Richards, Roland, Lt. (Tp.,) k. in a., 7/12/15 (16/Bn., att. 7/R. Mun. 

Fus.). 
Richardson-Jones, Charles Harry, 2/Lt., 6/Bn., k. in a., 11/6/16. 
Righton, Richard Harry, 2/Lt., k. in a., 27/9/18 (6/Bn., att. 7/Bn.). 
Roberts, Arthur Colin, C.M.G., D.S.O., Brig. -Gen., died, 1 7/5/1 7 (80 

Inf. Bde. H.Q.). 
Roberts, Frederick Norman, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 3/Bn., d. of w., 19/11/18. 
Roberts, Francis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 27/10/16. 
Roberts, William Arthur, Lt. (Tp.), died, 20/8/17 (30 T.R.B.). 
Robertson, Barrie Dow, 2/Lt. (Tp.) (A/Capt.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 22/8/18. 
Robertson-Walker, Arthur Murdoch Maxwell, Capt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 

7/7/16. 
Robinson, Arthur Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 25/Bn., k. in a., 11/6/17. 
Robinson, Thistle, M.C., Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 25/10/18 (att. 26/Bn.). 
Roe, William Richard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), died, 11/5/17 (n/Bn., att. H.A.C.), 

in German hands. 
Rogers, Benjamin Richard Corlay, 2/Lt., k. in a., 17/10/18 (6/Bn., att. 

3/Bn.). 
Rogers, Sheffield Digby Kissane, Lt., k. in a., 14/6/15 (4/Bn., att. North'd 

Fus.). 
Roope, Charles Francis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Roper, Eric Walter, Lt. and Adj. (Tp.), 17/Bn., d. of w., 12/9/16. 
Roper, William Frank, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 29/9/18 (11/Bn., att. 

54/T.M.B.). 
Roscoe, Richard Lang, M.C., Capt. (Tp.), 22/Bn., d. of w., 4/2/17. 
Rose, Theodore William Frank, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 4/4/18. 
Rowe, Benjamin Franklin, Lt., k. in a., 1/6/17 (and R.F.C.). 
Royer, Harold Ernest, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 27/9/18. 
Royle, Dennis Carlton, M.C., Capt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 21/8/18. 
Rumball, George Thomas Sydney, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 13/4/18 

(att. 2/Bn.). 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 349 

Ryan, Martin, Capt. (Tp.) (A/Major), 25/Bn., k. in a., 18/10/17. 
Sampson, Bertram George, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 12/2/17. 
Sandall, Horace Cecil Blandford, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 9/3/18 (12/Bn., 

att. 10/Bn.). 
Sanders, Frederick John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., d. of w., 6/8/18. 
Savage, William Howard, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Savours, Arthur William, Lt., k. in a., 2/8/18 (6/Bn., att. 11/Bn.). 
Saward, Ralph, 2/Lt., 22/Bn., k. in a., 29/4/17. 
Sayer, Leonard Charles, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., d. of w., 4/7/16. 
Sayer, Robert Bramwell, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., d. of w., 19/2/17. 
Schofield, Cuthbert, Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 25/9/15 (14/Bn., att. 12/Bn.). 
Scott, Arthur Ernest Mortimer, Lt., k. in a., 7/11/16 (7/Bn., att. 4/Bn.). 
Scott, William David, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 3/8/17. 
Scott-Miller, Walter Dudley, 2/Lt., killed, 22/6/17 (att. R.F.C.). 
Scudamore, John Venables, Lt., k. in a., 25/4/15. 
Sealy, Charles Frederic Noel Prince, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 24/5/15. 
Selous, Frederick Courteney, D.S.O., Capt. (Tp.), 25/Bn., k. in a., 

4/I/I7- 
Seward, Stanley Richard, Lt. (A/Capt.), k. in a., 30/10/17 (7/Bn., att. 

7/R. Sco. Fus.). 
Seymour-Ure, William Bruce, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 32/Bn., k. in a., 4-10/10/16. 
Shafto, Thomas Duncombe, Capt., k. in a., 2/5/15. 
Shannon, Richard Bernard, Earl of, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 13/4/17. 
Sharp, Humphrey, Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 5/10/15. 
Sharpe, Sydney William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 25/Bn., d. of w., 25/3/18. 
Shaw, Hugh James, Capt., k., 11/11/14 (5/Bn., att. i/Bn.). 
Shaw, Max Joseph, Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 15/9/16 (16/Bn., att. 26/Bn.). 
Shaw, Raymond Pugh, Lt. (T/Capt.), k. in a., 28/11/15 (5/Bn., att. 2/Bn.) 
Shaw, Walter Douglas, M.C., Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 8/11/18 (att. 1/10 

Manch. R.). 
Shepherd, Gordon Strachy, D.S.O., M.C., Brig. -Gen., k. in a., 19/1/18 

(and R.F.C.). 
Sherwood, Clement Walter, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn. , k. in a., 28/1 1/17. 
Shoesmith, Edward James, 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 7/6/17. 
Shillingford, Stanley Charles, Lt., k. in a., 16/6/18 (2/Bn., att. R.A.F.). 
Shorrock, Thomas Dudley Ralph, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Shurey, Charles, Capt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 21/7/16. 
Sidwell, Albert Edward, M.C., Lt. (Tp.), 9/B11., k. in a., 7/7/17. 
Simonds, Ernest Hugh, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 28/3/18. 
Simmons, Robert George, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 22/3/18. 
Simons. Leon, M.C., Capt., 22/Bn., k. in a., 17/2/17. 
Simpson, Christopher Byron, Capt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Simpson, John Parker Norfolk, 2/Lt., d. of w., 27/5/15 (5/Bn., att. 2/Bn.). 
Sims, Heber Harold, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., d. of w., 1/9/18. 
Sinclair, Frank, Lt. (Tp.), drowned, 3/10/18 (att. Nigeria Rgt.). 
Skelton, Harry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., d. of w., 12/10/16. 
Skinner, Stephen William, 2/Lt., 32/Bn., k. in a., 4/10/16. 
Smith, Arthur William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 23/Bn., k. in a., 7/9/18. 
Smith, Dugald, 2/Lt. (Tp.) (A/Capt.), 4/Bn., d. of w., 8/10/18. 
Smith, Everard Cecil, Lt., k. in a., 23/8/14. 
Smith, James Clement, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 27/3/16. 
Smith, Sydney John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Smith, Walter Wyville, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 18/10/15. 
Snaith, William Ernest, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Snelling, Frederick John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 7/Bn., k. in a., 30/10/17 
Solomon, L. B., Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., k. in a., 12/4/18. 
Soro, William, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 16/4/17. 
Sparks, James Elliot, Lt., k. in a., 21/7/16. 
Sparks, Robert Lionel, 2/Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 22/1 1/1 7. 
Speakman, Alan Edwards, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 5/9/18 (att. 2/Bn. 



350 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Spence, Bertram, 2/Lt. (Tp.), g/Bn., k. in a., 21/9/18. 

Spicer, George Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 17/Bn., k. in a., 6/6/18. 

Spooner, George Piercy, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 20-23/9/17 (att. 26/Bn.) 

Stables, Harold Rolleston, Lt., k. in a., 15/11/14 (5/Bn., att. Chesh. R.). 

Stafford, Cyril Francis, 2/Lt., 24/Bn., d. of w., 14/4/17. 

Stanlej', Lawrence Aston, 2/Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 30/1 1/1 7. 

Stapleton-Brethcrton, Wilfred Stanislaus, Capt., k. in a., 8/11/14. 

Stearns, Eric Gordon, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 7/8/15. 

Steele, Frederick Wilberforce Alexander, Lt., d. of w., 25-27/10/14. 

Stephens, Geoffrey Duncan, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/7/16 (5/Bn., att. i/Bn., att. 

T.M. By.). 
Stephenson, Rennie, Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 16/11/16. 
Stevens, Arthur Reginald Ingram, Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 4/8/16. 
Stevenson, Frederick, 2/Lt., 22/Bn., k. in a., 29/4/17. 
Stileman, Cecil Herbert, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 29/2/16 (and R.F.C., 5/Sq.). 
Stiles, Arthur James, 2/Lt., 8/Bn., k. in a., 3/8/16. 
Still, Reginald Sidney Hewitt, 2/Lt., k. in a. (28/Bn., att. 9/Bn.). 
Stirling, Richard Kellock, Lt., k. in a., 21/8/15 (5/Bn., att. i/Bn.). 
Stocker, Frederick Luff, Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 23/8/18 (28/Bn., att. 20/Bn.). 
Stollery, John Cecil, 2/Lt., k. in a., 24/5/15 (5/Bn., att. Warwicks). 
V.C. Stone, Walter Napleton, A/Capt., k. in a., 30/1 1/1 7 (3/Bn., att. 

17/Bn.). 
Stovold, Grosvenor Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 1 0/8/1 7. 
Stoyle, A. P., Lt., died, 27/2/19 (4/Bn., att. R.A.F.). 
Street, Frank, Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 7/7/16. 
Stringer, John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Stuart, John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 6/Bn., died, 24/4/18. 
Sykes, Ronald Arthur, Lt., 7/Bn., d. of w., 28/4/17. 
Symonds, Arthur, 2/Lt., 23/Bn., k. in a., 1 7/2/1 7. 
Symons, Charles Handley Lamphier, 2/Lt., k. in a., 20/1 1/17 (5/Bn., att, 

8/Bn.). 
Tardugno, Ray, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 7/7/17 (17/Bn., att. R.F.C., 57/Sq.). 
Tate, William Lewis, Lt., k. in a., 13/3/15. 

Taylor, Arthur George Ernest, Lt. (A/Capt.), 7/Bn., d. of w., 26/5/17. 
Taylor, Clives Wailes, M.C., 2/Lt., 17/Bn., d. of w., 25/2/17. 
Taylor, Eric Francis M., 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 27/7/16. 
Taylor, Francis Maurice, Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., k. in a., 15/7/16. 
Taylor, Maurice, 2/Lt., k. in a., 23/3/18 (att. 11/Bn.). 
Tealby, Harold Edgar William, 2/Lt. (A/Capt.), k. in a., 5/4/18 (6/Bn., 

att. 7/Bn.). 
Templar, John Franklin Hopwood, Capt., 2/Bn., died, 8/2/19. 
Thoday, Albert Eric, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Thomas-O'Donel, George O'Donel Frederick, Capt. and Adjt., k. in a. 

16/6/15. 
Thompson, Albert Martin, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 21/12/15 (att. 1/15 

Lond. R.). 
Thompson, Richard Henry Vaughan, Capt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 

26/9/16. 
Thomson, Spencer, M.C., Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 24/4/17 (14/Bn., att. 2/Bn.) 
Thorburn, R. W., Capt. (Tp.), 32/Bn , d. of w., 7/8/17. 
Thorp, Leslie, 2/Lt., 10/Bn., k. in a., 16/11/16. 
Tiffany, Harry Waddington, M.C., 2/Lt., 12/Bn., k. in a., 15/11/16. 
Toller, Edward Northcote, Capt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 20/7/16. 
Tothill, Geoffrey Ivan Francis, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 27/3/16. 
Tower, Bertie Christopher Butler, M.C., Capt. (A/Major), d. of w. 

22/8/18. 
Tristram, Eric Barrington, 2/Lt. (T/Lt.), k. in a., 6/9/17 (att. 1/5 Lane. 

Fus.). 
Troup, Frank Monck Mason, Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 10/4/17. 
Tupper, Harold, 2/Lt., 10/Bn., d. of w., 22/7/18. 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 351 

Turney, Leonard William, Major, k. in a., 3/5/17 (6 Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 

Twigg, Ellis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 4/Bn., k. in a., 1 8/9/1 8. 

Twyman, Percy Gedge, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 10/Bn., d. of w., 15/4/17. 

Ullman, Douglas Maurice Jaques, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 23/4/17. 

Umney, Basil Charles Lovell, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., k. in a., 22/7/16. 

Underwood, Edmund Poole, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 30/7/16 (17/Bn., att. 

29/Bn.). 
Undery, John Alfred, 2/Lt., k. in a., 29/10/14. 
Uphill, Reginald William James, 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 22/3/18. 
Usher, Arthur Norman, M.C., 2/Lt., 10/Bn., k. in a., 4/11/18. 
Van Gruisen, Wilfred, M.C., Lt., i/Bn., d. of w., 1/11/16. 
Vaughan, John Montgomery, 2/Lt., d. of w., 25/5/15. 
Veresmith, Evelyn Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 9/7/16 (14/Bn., att. 

9/Bn.). 
Vincent, George Samuel, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 4/10/17. 
Waddell.James Douglas, Capt., 12/Bn., k. in a., 25/9/15. 
Waddell-Dudley, Robert Rowland, Lt., k. in a., 15/4/15. 
Wade, Lawrence Frank, 2/Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 28/8/18. 
Waghorn, Percy William. 2/Lt., 8/Bn., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Waley, Aubrey John, Lt. (Tp.), 12/Bn., k. in a., 31/7/17. 
Walker, Alfred English, Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 22/8/16. 
Waller (Bart.), Francis Ernest (Sir), Capt., k. in a., 25/10/14 (6/Bn., 

att. 4/Bn.). 
Waller, Richard Alured, 2/Lt., 5/Bn., died, 1/11/17. 
Wallwork, Herbert, Lt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 20/7/16. 
Walsh, John, Major (Tp.), 22/Bn., d. of w., 19/2/17. 
Ward, Eric, 2/Lt., 10/Bn., d. of w., 27/2/18. 

Warde, Brian Edmund Douglas, Lt., k. in a., 16/6/15 (6/Bn., att. 4/Bn.) 
Wardley, Miles Edward, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 22/Bn., k. in a., 29/4/17. 
Wardrop, John, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 8/Bn., k. in a., 3/8/16. 
Wason, Cyril Ernest, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 9/Bn., k. in a., 30/1 1/1 7. 
Watt, Robert, 2/Lt., 11/Bn., k. in a., 10/8/17. 
Weare, Frederick John, 2/Lt., 4/Bn., d. of w., 9/10/18. 
Webb, George Tudor, 2/Lt. (Td.), 24/Bn., k. in a., 21/4/16. 
Webb, R. B., Major (Tp.), 25/Bn., died, 26/7/16. 
Wells, Frederick Bennett, 2/Lt., 23/Bn., d. of w., 10/10/18. 
Wells, Hurlestone Vesey, Capt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 12/4/18. 
Westaway, Leslie Thomas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 2/Bn., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Whiteman, Ormonde Charles, Capt. (Tp.), 11/Bn., k. in a., 22/1 1/1 7. 
Whitworth, James Frederick, Capt., k. in a., 21/3/18 (from W. Yorks.). 
Whittall, Noel Charles, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 13/9/17 (7/Bn., att. R.F.C., 

6/Sq.). 
Whyte, Mark Gilchrist, 2/Lt., k. in a., 19/8/18. 
Wickham, Cyril Henry, Capt., d. of w., 15/1/15. 
Wiggen, Robert Harrison, M.C., 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 17/2/17 (15/Bn., 

att. 23/Bn.), 
Wilcock, Maurice Nettleton, Lt., 13/Bn., k. in a., 1 8/9/18. 
Willett, Nelson Herbert, 2/Lt., 2/Bn., k. in a., 11/4/18. 
Williams, Idris Havard Joseph, Capt., d. of w., 3/6/15. 
Williams, Rowland, 2/Lt., 9/Bn., k. in a., 23/10/18. 
Williams, Trevard Lewis, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 30/10/17. 
Williams, William Frederick, 2/Lt., 17/Bn., k. in a., 27/9/18. 
Wilmshurst, Edwin Roy, Lt. (Tp.), d. of w., 1/12/16 (20/Bn., att. 

20/Bn.). 
Wilshin, J. H., 2/Lt., d. of w., 25/4,18 (6/Bn., att. i/Bn.). 
Wilson, Arthur Hone, Lt., d. of w., 18/11/16 (4/Bn., att. 7/Bn.). 
Wilson, Frederick Thomas Austen, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1 2/3/1 8 (5/Bn., att. 

2/Bn.). 
Withall, John, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16 (6/Bn., att. 8/Bn.). 
Wolfe, Bernard, Lt. (Tp.), 38/Bn., died, 20/7/18. 



352 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Wood, Hector Frederick, M.C., Capt., 32/Bn., k. in a., 20/9/17. 

Wood, Henry, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 19/Bn., d. of w., 2/1/16. 

Wood, Paul Barnard, Lt., 5/Bn., k. in a., 23/4/17. 

Woodcock, Cecil William Napier, 2/Lt., 10/Bn., k. in a., 14/9/18. 

Woodville-Morgan, Eric Theodore, 2/Lt., k. in a., 20-23/9/17 (6/Bn., 

att. 26/Bn.). 
Wright, Cecil Keith Foylc, 2/Lt., 10/Bn., k. in a., 21/8/18. 
Wright, Eric Tracey, Capt. (Tp.), 20/Bn., k. in a., 13/3/16. 
Wnght, George Bertram, 2/Lt., i/Bn., k. in a., 11/10/18. 
Wright, Norman Stanley, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 26/Bn., k. in a., 15/9/16. 
Wright, Richard Bertram, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/7/18 (att. 1/6 W. Yorks. R.). 
Wright-Ingle, Cecil Hubert, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 30/4/16 (19/Bn., att. 

2/Lein. R.). 
Yandle, Thomas, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., 10/4/17. 
Yellen, Cyril Francis, 2/Lt. (Tp.), k. in a., 30/1 1/17 (att. 17/Bn.). 
Young, James Cecil, 2/Lt., 7/Bn., k. in a., 6/4/18. 
Young, Rowdon Morris, 2/Lt. (Tp.), 13/Bn., k. in a., n/8/16. 
Young, Henry Harman, 2/Lt., k. in a., 24/5/15. 

City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), 
ist Battalion. 

Allender, John Harold, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Andrew, Arthur, 2/Lt., k. in a., 23/1 1/1 7. 

Arden, Reginald Douglas, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/10/16. 

Atkins, Leslie Gordon, 2/Lt., k. in a., 25/5/18. 

Auerbach, Albert Arthur, M.C., Lt., k. in a., 1/9/18. 

Balfour, B., Lt., k. in a., 16/4/18 (and R.A.F.). 

Barker, Charles Haydn, 2/Lt., d. of w., 8/10/18. 

Barton, William Ewart, 2/Lt., d. of w., 25/8/18. 

Bell, Kenneth Frederick Hamilton, 2/Lt., k. in a., 25/9/15. 

Besley, Howard Napier, 2/Lt., k. in a., 29/6/17. 

Bowen, Rowland George P., Lt., k. in a., 9/5/15. 

Buck, Geoffry Sebastain, M.C., D.F.C., Capt., k. in a., 3/9/18 (and 

R.A.F.). 
Burnaby, Geoffry, Lt., d. of w., 23/10/16. 
Campbell, Walter Stanley, M.C., 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Carr, Leslie George, M.C. and Bar, Capt., d. of w., 27/4/18. 
Carter, Cecil Edward, 2/Lt., k. in a., 20/9/17. 
Chamberlain, John Harold, 2/Lt., d. of w., 21/11/15. 
Chapman, Fred, 2/Lt., k. in a., 22/8/18. 
Chichester, William George Cubitt, Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 
Coleman, Sydney, Capt., d. of w., 14/10/18. 
Collens, Edwin Theobald, Lt., d. of w., 3/9/18. 
Crowe, Harold Archer, 2/Lt., d. of w., 1/6/15. 
Cundall, Hubert Walter, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Dickinson, Lionel St. Clair, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/9/16. 
Dowden, Reginald Stanley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1 6/8/1 7. 
Eiloart, Frank Oswald, A/Capt., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Fry, John Desford, Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 
Glover, Richard Bowie Gaskell, Capt., k. in a., 5/11/15. 
Harper, Reginald Alexander, 2/Lt., d. of w., 1 6/9/1 7. 
Heaton, Norman Child, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Henderson, Alec Stuart, Capt., d. of w., 25/4/15. 
Hill, Gerald Stanley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 
Houghton, John Reginald, M.C, A/Capt., k. in a., 21/3/18. 
Huggins, Douglas Frank, Capt., k. in a., 29/8/18. 
Johnson, Edmund George, 2/Lt., k. in a., 24/8/18. 
Kekewich, George Capt., d. of w., 28/10/17. 
Le Tall, Cyril Herbert, Capt., k. in a., 30/8/18. 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 353 

Long, Daniel Edward, 2/Lt., k. in a., 28/5/18. 

Martin, Edwin, John, 2/Lt., k. in a., 4/9/18. 

Mayer, Gerald Max, Lt., d. of w., 1 6/2/1 7. 

Mews, John Keith, Capt., d. of w., 24/8/18. 

Meyers, Stanley Arthur, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 

Mockford, Joseph, 2/Lt., d. of w., 8/4/17. 

Mouat, George Mouat Dundas, Capt., k. in a., 9-10/5/15. 

Mytton, Richard, 2/Lt., d. of w., 3/10/16. 

Naylor, James Reginald, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 

Newall, Leslie, 2/Lt., k. in a., 2/9/15. 

Nunn, Frederick Arthur, 2/Lt., k. in a., 2/4/18 (R.A.F.). 

Parslow, William Hunt, A/Capt., d. of w., 10/8/18. 

Petley, Hugh, Capt., k. in a., 1 6/9/1 6. 

Prentice, Oliver, 2/Lt., k. in a., 27/3/18. 

Richards, Robert Ingram, 2/Lt., d. of w., 27/10/17. 

Rowland, Cyril William, M.C., Capt., k. in a., 23/8/18. 

Scott, Ronald Burrell Ind, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 

Seaverns, Joel, Harrison, Lt., d. of w., 10/5/15. 

Shail, William Archibald, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/8/17. 

Sheasby, Edwin William, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 

Smith, Duncan Vaughan, D.S.O., Lt.-Col., d. of w., 1 3/4/1 7. 

Snowdon, Henry Frederick, Lt., k. in a., 6/10/16. 

Snowdon, Sidney Frank, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 

Stapleton, Harold Frederick, Lt., k. in a., 1 5/9/1 6. 

Stevens, William Philip, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/8/18. 

Townend, Cecil Pelham, 2/Lt., d. of w., 24/9/16. 

Vawser, Thomas Edmund, 2/Lt., k. in a., 21-23/3/18. 

Waddams, Walter Herbert Leonard, M.C., A/Capt., d. of w., 12/4/17. 

Westlake, Geoffrey Arthur, Lt., k. in a., 7-8/10/16. 

Wilkinson, Eyre Spencer, Lt., k. in a., 12/1/16 (and R.F.C.). 

Williams, Harold Edward, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7-8/10/16. 

Wilson, David Oliver, 2/Lt., d. of w., 8/10/16. 

City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). 
2nd Battalion. 

Bennett, Harold Percy, Lt., k. in a., 21/3/18. 

Buxton, Bertie Reginald, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/ 16. 

Child, David Leshe, Lt., d. of w., 11/9/16. 

Clayton, Albert James, M.C., 2/Lt., d. of w., 24/8/18. 

Cooke, George Josiah, 2/Lt., k. in a., 23/11/17 (and R.F.C.). 

Coppen, William Joseph, Lt., k. in a., 2/11/17. 

Falkner, Clarence Beach, Capt., k. in a., 25/10/17. 

Farley, Frederick Albert, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 

Fradd, Kingsley Meredith Chatterton, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16 (M.G.C.)« 

Gant, Harold Holden, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/9/18. 

Garland, James Richard, T/Capt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 

Gordon, Colin, Capt., k. in a., 16/8/17. 

Gosnell, Harold Clifford, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 

Grainger, John Scott, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 

Gretton, Horace Edward, Capt., k. in a., 16/8/17. 

Hammond, Frederic Robert Cyprian, 2/Lt., k. in a., 6/7/15, 

Handyside, Percy James Alexander, Capt., k. in a., 1/7/16, 

Hawkins, Harold Engleby, Capt., k. in a., 16/6/17. 

Heagerty, Richard Browne, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/17. 

Heaumann, Richard, Capt., k. in a., 8-10/9/16. 

Henderson, Graeme Von Hope, Lt., k. in a., 16/6/17. 

Howard, Herbert Quey, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/8/18. 

Inwards, Horatio, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/6/17. 

Jepson, Arthur George Leslie, Capt., k. in a., 16/9/16. 

F. A A 



354 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Keen, Stephen Whitworth, M.C., Lt., d. of w., 21/8/18 (and R.A.F.) 

Lockey, Ernest William, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8-10/9/16. 

Long, James William, Capt., k. in a., 8-10/9/16. 

McMurray, Stuart, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/8/17 (and R.F.C.). 

Martin, Stanley, M.M., 2/Lt., k. in a., 18/9/18. 

Merrikin, George Houlden, 2/Lt., k. in a., 27/8/18. 

Missen, Edward Roland Cecil, 2/Lt., k. in a., 4/10/18. 

Murray, Cyril, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/8/17. 

Noel, Alfred, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/17. 

Perris, Noel Frederick, 2/Lt., k. in a., 20/7/18 (and R.A.F.). 

Preedy, John Benjamin Knowlton, Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 

Prince, Frederick George, 2/Lt., k., 18/5/19 (and R.A.F.) . 

Rawle, William Richard, Capt., d. of w., 8/8/18. 

Richardson, John Ernest, Lt., k. in a., 7/5/15. 

Rolleston, Francis Launcelot, 2/Lt., k., 26/4/15. 

Royce, R. Francis, 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/9/18. 

St. Leger, St. John Richard, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15-1 7/9/16. 

Skeet, John Richard, Lt., k. in a., 27/4/18. 

Smoothy, Albert Victor, 2/Lt., d. of w., 9/11/18. 

Solley, Bernard John, 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/8/18. 

Spong, Frederick William Edward, 2/Lt., d. of w., 2/8/17 ( in German 

hands) . 
Stacey, Gerald Arthur, D.S.O., Major, k. in a., 9/10/16. 
Starling, Benjamin Alfred, 2/Lt., k. in a., 23/3/18. 
Stockley, Harold Brodie, Lt., killed, 22/7/18 (R.A.F.). 
Strange, William Frederick, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Stubbs, Cecil Arthur, 2/Lt., d. of w., 2/7/16. 
Sullivan, Arthur John, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 
Symes, John Bond, Capt., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Taylor, Philip Charton, Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 
Thorman, Alan Marshall, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Urcell, William, Lt., died, 4/11/18. 
Walton, Frank Arthur, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/9/17. 
Williams, Henry Evan Vincent, Lt., d. of w., 22/5/17. 
Winterbourne, Frank Thomas, Capt., drowned, 10/10/18. 
Wright, John George William, 2/Lt., k. in a., 11/5/17. 

City of London Regiment (Royal Fustmers). 
3RD Battalion. 

Aberdeen, Louis Frederick, 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/9/16. 

Agius, Richard Victor Joseph Roy, Capt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 

Arnold, Leonard Frank Cecil, M.C., Lt., d. of w., 2 1/12/ 19 (alt. 

82/Punjabs). 
Atkins, Arthur Charles, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 
Austen, Edward John, Lt., k. in a., 21-23/3/18. 
Barton, Harry, 2/Lt., k. in a., 22/3/18. 

Be-esl'ord, Percy William, D.S.O., Lt.-Col., d. of w., 26/10/17. 
Burgess, Harold Torrence, 2/Lt., k. in a., 2/4/17. 
Burrows, William Arthur, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 
Cahill, Alfred Gilbert, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/10/16. 
Christmas, Bernard Lovell, Capt., d. of w., 11/5/16. 
Clarke, Eric Fitzgerald, Capt., k. in a., 9/4/17. 
Crichton, Cyril William Alfred, 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/3/15. 
Cummins, Thomas Morris, Lt., died, 7/11/18. 
Curtis, Arthur, M.C., Capt., k. in a., 27/8/18. 
Davison, Rutherford Willoughby, 2/Lt., d. of w., 10/10/16. 
Ferris, Alfred William, 2/Lt., d. of w., 5/3/17. 
Fraser, Charles Douglas, 2/Lt., k. in a., 22/3/18. 
Gedge, Cecil Bertie, 2/Lt.,'k. in a., 25/9/15. 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 355 

Groves, Robert Harry, M.C., 2/Lt., d. of w., 12/4/17. 

Gunn, Walter Roderick Hamilton, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/9/18. 

Gunton, Reginald Oliver, 2/Lt., k. in a., 21/3/18. 

Haines, Herbert Henry, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/5/17- 

Hall, Hugh Wilfred, 2/Lt., k. in a., I5/5/I7- 

Hard, William Thomas, 2/Lt., k. in a., 23/3/18. 

Howard, Francis Stanley, Capt., k. in a., 28/1 1/15. 

Howell Arthur Anthony, C.M.G., T.D., Lt.-Col., (T/B.-Gen.), died 

x 5/i/i8. . o o 

Jeffree, Johnson Vivian, 2/Lt., k. m a., 10/8/18. 
Jeffries, Thomas, 2/Lt., k. in a., 14/8/17. 
Jones, David William Llewellyn, Lt., d. of w., 2/7/16. 
Jones, John Llewelyn Thomas, Capt., k. in a., 16/8/17. 
Jones, Thomas Capel, Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 
Knight, Edgar Frederick, 2/Lt., k. in a., 28/5/16. 
Knott, Stuart Wallace, 2/Lt., k. in a., 24/4/18. 
Lee, C. P., 2/Lt., k. in a., 22/10/18 (att. R.A.F.). 
Lidiard, Richard John Abraham, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16, 
Luscombe, Henry, Lt., k. in a., 11/4/17. 
Lynch-Staunton, Eric Margrave, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/5/ 1 ?- 
Mason, Charles Henry, M.C., 2/Lt., d. of w., 10/9/18. 
Mathieson, Herbert Gerard, Lt., k. in a., 10/3/15. 
Minshull, John Lewis, Capt., k. in a., 2/4/17. 
Moorey, William Edward, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 
Morrison, Arnold, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 
Newson, Walter Alexander, Major, died, 1 5/4/1 7. 
Odell, Oliver Henry Cecil, 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/9/16. 
Oldrey, Montague, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 
Parry, William Norman Maule, 2/Lt., d. of w., 19/8/17 (in German 

hands). 
Pulman, Harry Robert Sauve, Capt., k., 10/3/15. 
Randall, Albert William, 2/Lt., k. in a., 8/8/18. 
Ring, Leslie Gordon, Lt., k. in a., 18/9/18. 
Rodd, Frederick Trevor, Lt., k. in a., 16/^/17. 
Scarlett, Harold Ernest, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1 7/9/16. 
Sheffield, Ralph David, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/6/17. 
Smith, Harold Spencer, 2/Lt., k. in a., 31/7/ 18 ( att - R-A.F.). 
Smith, Raymond Alexander, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Starling, Frederick Leslie, 2/Lt., k. in a., 13/9/16. 
Stephens, John Lockhart, Lt., k., 10/3/15. 
Stuart, Herbert Gordon, Lt., d. of w., 7/3/19- 
Taylor, Gilbert Leslie Frederic, Capt., d. of w., 26/8/17. 
Thomas, James Leonard, Capt., k., 28/2/17 ( an( i R F.C.). 
Watts, Leonard, M.M., 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/10/18. 
Wharton, Christopher Willis, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 
Whiddett, Horace, 2/Lt., d. of w., 27/8/18. 
Wybrants, John Holman, 2/Lt., d. of w., 30/7/18. 

City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). 
4TH Battalion. 

Atterbury, Lewis John Rowley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16. 
Backler, Alfred Milne, 2/Lt., died, 25/5/18 (R.A.F.). 
Blows, Cyril Sydney George, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 
Bottomley, Eric William, Capt., k. in a., 15/6/17. 
Bradford, Frederick Reith Campbell, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 
Brodie, Colin James, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 
Brown, Norman Algernon, 2/Lt., died, 1/3/19. 
Butcher, Clarence Edward, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/17. 
Campkin, Reginald Ernest, 2/Lt., k. in a., 28/3/18. 

a a 2 



356 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Carlisle, Frederick Albert, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1 5/9/1 7. 

Clarke, Edward Rupert, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/4/17. 

Coates, Alan David, Lt., k. in a., 27-28/4/15. 

Colomb, George Lushington, Lt., k. in a., 22/1 1/16 (R.F.C.). 

Colomb, Mervyn William, 2/Lt., d. of w., 11/5/15 (R.F.C.). 

Giles, Eric, Capt., d. of w., 16/7/16. 

Goodes, George Leonard, M.C. and Bar, Capt., k. in a., 6/10/16. 

Davey, William Henry, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 

Davis, Harold Charles, 2/Lt., k. in a., 4/4/17. 

Edkins, Charles, 2/Lt., k. in a., 29/10/18. 

Elliott, John Benjamin George, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/8/17. 

Evans, John Baynes, Lt., k. in a., 23/3/18. 

Ewing, Gordon Craig, M.C, 2/Lt., k. in a., 20/9/18. 

Fanghanel, Frederick Charles, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 

Foden, Frank Joseph, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 

Garner, Edward Harold, 2/Lt., k. in a., 27/8/18. 

Geering, Sydney Cecil, 2/Lt., d. of w., 3/5/18 (P. of W., . 

Gifford, William Roy, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Hannay, Herbert Thomas, 2/Lt., k. in a., 28/3/18. 

Haycraft, Leonard Courtenay, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Hewlett, Harold Alcester Tom, Capt., k. in a., 23/8/18. 

Humphrey, William Pryn, 2/Lt., k. in a., 27/5/18. 

Hunt, Frederick Frank, 2/Lt. (T/Lt.), k. in a., 27/6/15. 

Jones, Harry, Lt., k., 15/5/18. 

Langton, Hugh Gordon, 2/Lt., k. in a., 26/10/17. 

Leake, George Ernest Arthur, D.S.O., Capt., d. of w., 2/6/17. 

Lewis, Charles Edward, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 

Mansbridge, William Kenneth Elliott, 2/Lt., k. in a., 4/10/17. 

Mawby, Thomas Henry, 2/Lt., k. in a., 24/6/18. 

Monk, Ernest William, Capt., k. in a., 29/3/18 (R.F.C.). 

Moody, Thomas, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/7/16. 

Moore, Arthur Robert, M.C, Capt., died, 1/7/16 (in German hands). 

Mortleman, Charles Ibbetson, 2/Lt., k. in a., 9/9/16. 

Oldrey, Vernon Roy, Lt., k. in a., 31/8/18. 

Osborne, William Edward, 2/Lt., d. of w., 11/9/16. 

Pratt, Ernest Charles, 2/Lt., k. in a., 14/5/17. 

Prince, Victor Charles, M.C, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1/9/18. 

Rix, Leslie Gordon, Capt., d. of w., 11/2/17, 

Saunders, Charles Robert Edgar, Capt., d. of w., 28/4/15. 

Scougall, Douglas Muir, 2/Lt., k. in a., 4/5/17. 

Shaw, Thomas Charles Whitehall, 2/Lt., k. in a., 24/8/18. 

Smith, Brian Rivers, Capt., k. in a., 8/8/18. 

Speyer, Cecil Arthur, 2/Lt., k. in a., 1 6/8/1 7. 

Spicer, Eric Evan, Capt., k. in a., 28/3/18. 

Stavert, Robert Elliott, Capt., k. in a., 25/8/18. 

Stedman, Philip Bertram Kirk, Lt., d. of w., 19/8/16. 

Stoaling, Thomas, 2/Lt., k. in a., 14/5/17. 

Sylvester, George Harry, 2/Lt., d. of w., 4/11/18. 

Taylor, Cecil Meakin, 2/Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Taylor, Herbert Berwick, 2/Lt., k. in a., 31/7/17. 

Towse, William Norman, Capt., k. in a., 15/9/16. 

Vernon, William Hams, Lt., k. in a., 7/10/16. 

Waters, Bernard Stanley, 2/Lt., k. in a., 3/5/17. 

Webster, Walter Henry, D.S.O., 2/Lt., k. in a., 10/2/17. 

Wheatley, Joseph Horace Lyncham, 2/Lt., k. in a., 15/6/17. 

Wreford, Leslie Warren, 2/Lt., k. in a., 16/8/17. 

Yeoman, Basil Frank Lawson, 2/Lt., died, 11/5/1S (R.A.F.) 

Total . . 1,054 



THE ROLL OF HONOUR 



357 



WARRANT OFFICERS, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND 

MEN. 



Battalion. 


Name of Battalion. 


Description 


Numbers. 


Depot 


Royal Fusiliers . 





29 


ISt . 


II 11 




Regular 


747 


2nd . 


II M 




11  


i,399 


3rd . 


II II 




11 • 


765 


4th . 


II II 




11 


1,642 


5th . 


11 II 




Special Reserve 


35 


6th . 


II II 




11 n 


21 


7 th . 


II II 




11 11 


818 


ISt . 


II II 




Territorial Force 


1,667 


2nd 


II II 




11 11 


1,279 


3rd . 


II II 




11 11 


1,274 


4th . 


II II 




11 11 


1. 146 


Posted from 


other Corps to 








ISt . 


Royal Fusiliers 




n 11 


23 


1 /2nd 


11 11 




'! II 


32 


2/2nd 


11 11 




Jt II 


322 


3rd . 


n 11 




II II 


146 


1 / 4 th 


n 11 




II II 


46 


2 /4th 


11 11 




II II 


163 


8th . 


11 11 




Service Battalioi 


1 . 1,021 


9th . 


11 tt 




11 11 


1.333 


10th 


11 11 




11 11 


728 


nth 


11 11 




11 11 


979 


12th 


11 n 




n 11 


443 


13th 


11 n 




n 11 


738 


17th 


11 11 




Empire 


519 


18th 


11 11 




Public Schools 


22 


19th 


11 11 




11 11 


33 


20th 


11 11 




11 11 


566 


2ISt . 


n 11 




11 11 


18 


22nd 


ii 11 




Kensington 


440 


23rd 


11 11 




Sportsman's 


723 


24th 


ii 11 




Recruits . 


2 


24th 


11 11 




Sportsman's 


534 


25th 


11 n 




Frontiersmen's 


127 


26th 


11 11 




Bankers' . 


498 


27th 


11 11 




Training Reserve 


N . 4 


31st . 


11 11 




11 11 


18 


32nd 


11 11 




11 11 


5 


32nd 


11 11 




East Ham. 


403 


34th 


11 11 




Labour 


27 


35th 


11 11 




11 * • 


1 


36th 


11 11 




— 


1 


37th 


11 11 




Labour 


13 


38th 


11 n 


| 






39th 


II M 




Jewish 


50 


40th 


II II 


I 






43rd 


II II ' 




Garrison Battalic 


HI . 20 


44th 


II II ' 




— 


6 


45th 


II II 




— 


41 


46th 


II II 




— 


14 


103rd 


II II 




Training Reserve 


2 


105th 


II II 




11 11 


3 


10th 


II II 




Intelligence 


1 








20,887 



358 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 



C/3 



fa 

•J 
< 

o 
w 



Mentioned in 

War Office 
Communique. 


62 

Despatches. 


33 

I! S 


Egyptian. 

Order of the 

Nile (i) 


Mentioned 

in 
Despatches. 


780 

decorations. 
Mentioned in 


Grecian. 
Order of Re- 
deemer (2) 


Air 
Force 
Cross. 


00 « 
N 00 w 


ist Bar 

to 
D.F.C. 


O 

M H 




Italian. 
Crown of Italy 

(3) 
St. Maurice and 

St. Lazarus (4) 
Croce di Guerra 

(2) 


(J 
Q 


CO 


3rd Bar 

to 

M.C. 


M 


Serbian. 

Order of White 
Eagle with 
Swords (2) 

Order of Sacred 
Treasure (1) 


2nd Bar 

to 

M.C. 


CO 


ist Bar 

to 

M.C. 


10 


Russian. 
Order of St. 

Stanislas (2) 
Order of St. 

Anne (i) 


<J 


H 
u-1 




10 


s 


Belgian. 

Ordre de la 
Couronne (3) 

Ordre de Leo- 
pold (1) 


O.B.E. 




2nd Bar 

to 
D.S.O. 


M 


Panama. 
Medal of Soli- 
daridad, 3rd 
Class (2) 


ist Bar 

to 
D.S.O. 


H 


D.S.O. 


CI 


Chinese. 
Order of Wen 
Hu,4th Class 
(1) 


C.B.E. 

5 


as 



CO 


French. 

Ordre du Merite 

(1) 
Croix de Guerre 

(41) 
Croix de la Legion 
d'Honneur (23) 


n 


fv 




U") 











fa 














Sia" 












ui 


" — 




> 0- 






to £ IS S 




SI 




ja 








o<SS 








a 




SB 

la 

c 




CO 


.0 

c.B 


3 K (/I 




*s 




.2 -a 

2 = 

-0.2 

.3 


55 








St * i ^- 

. <S CtS - 














11 c 




c . 

rt 



en 


tsS< 


3|3l2 

s 




'5 a 

g u 


■* 


73 

H 










rt .ii 








terl 








fa so 


Q 




H 

-*• 




ID "J-* 
<0 K> 


z 

< 


s 






(-1 o^, CO fa. — 












s 






a 






E 


s 








o/> n: to 

£r -o t3 

O V 





u 


* 




.$ a * 


Q 


T3 






< 2 2 S 


Z 


C 






O 








w ° 5 s 


</> 








tn 








in mX 1-..C * 




s 








S 






M W V 

(J C/2 W 


a 


si 
















O 




^J 


u 


+J 




W5 


1 

z 



S3 

CO 


H 




a - 


£ 








tfl OJO 

fe 










Di fe8 


M 








•go 


w 













to 


S 


On 






5 £ 


to 
O 


S 


M 




a 


H 

z 


S 






ft! 

K 


u 

Q 






PQ Cc-o-a 


3 
£ 





M 




O Q 


u 






rt tfl 
T3 « 




PQ 






< «- CO 












55 










O 








Q 






s u ^ 




^So 




























c — CO 







ci 




. §£ S 




A 
























fa 4)13 jr u 




u 






= „£•« 




> 






V CO* O 

s s<5 



GENERAL OFFICERS 

It would be almost impossible to trace every Royal 
Fusilier who was employed extra-regimentally, and if this 
could be achieved it is doubtful whether such a catalogue 
would be of general interest. After giving the most prominent 
names, the author cannot pretend to have done more than 
follow the caprice of his material. Where it seemed sufficient 
to form at least an outline picture inclusion has been justified ; 
where the facts missing were obviously more important than 
those available it has seemed better to omit these biographies. 

Major-General E. Cooper, C.B., M.V.O., D.S.O., com- 
manded the 46th Brigade from August to November, 1914, 
when he took over command of the 13th Brigade in France 
until February, 1915. Between May, 1915, and September, 
1916, he commanded the 2/1 London Division, afterwards the 
58th Division, in England. He was later in charge of Section 3, 
Portsmouth Defences, and No. 2, Dover Brigade, until January, 
1918, when he became the National Service representative at 
Paddington. 

Major-General C. G. Donald, C.B., went to India on the 
outbreak of war in command of the Wessex Division (Terri- 
torial Force). In India he was appointed Inspector of Terri- 
torials, and on his return, in 1915, was appointed G.O.C. 
Reserve Division in the Western Command, England, and 
afterwards G.O.C. the Western Reserve Centre. He was 
awarded the C.B.E. 

Major-General Sir W. B. Hickie went to France in 1914 as 
A.Q.M.G. 2nd Army Corps, and was appointed D.A. and 
Q.M.G. with rank of brigadier-general during the Mons retreat. 
He commanded the 13th Infantry Brigade at the battle of the 
Aisne, and afterwards the 53rd Infantry Brigade, until pro- 
moted in December, 1915, to command 16th (Irish) Division. 
He remained in command till this division was broken up in 
April, 1918, and took part in all its battles. He was mentioned 
six times in despatches, promoted major-general, and received 
the K.C.B. and French Croix de Guerre. 



360 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Major-General Sir Sydney Lawford commanded the 
22nd Infantry Brigade of the " immortal Seventh Division " 
from September, 1914, to September, 1915. With it he took 
part in all the engagements of the division from the advance 
from Zeebrugge into Belgium to the first battle of Ypres. 
General Lawford had some very striking escapes from death 
in these days. On one occasion, being in a hurry and on foot, 
he borrowed a gunner's horse which he found tied to a tree. 
On completing his tour he was galloping past the spot where he 
had first found the horse when a shell practically took the 
horse's head off without its rider suffering a scratch. The 
brigade also took part in the battles of Auber's Ridge and 
Festubert, 1915. Promoted temporary major-general in 
September, 1915, he proceeded to England, raised and trained 
the 41st Division (which contained the 26th and 32nd Battalions 
Royal Fusiliers), and took it to France, May 2nd, 1916. The 
division captured Flers (September 15th, 1916) ; took part in 
another general attack, October 25th to 28th, 1916 ; advanced 
nearly 3,300 yards and took the Dammstrasse in the battle of 
Messines, 1917 ; co-operated in the battle of Ypres, 1917, near 
Hill 60 (July 31st), and at Menin road (September 21st). The 
division went to Italy in November, 1917, and on returning to 
France in March became involved in the fighting during the 
German offensive from March 22nd. After a fortnight's hard 
fighting the division was sent to the line covering Ypres, took 
part in the general advance, crossing the Lys at Cambrai and 
the Scheldt at Kerkove, reaching Grammont on November nth, 
1918. The division marched into Germany and held part of the 
Cologne bridgehead. General Lawford was awarded the C.B. 
in January, 1915 ; the K.C.B. in January, 1918 ; the War 
Medal, 1914-19 ; the Victory Medal and Mons Star; the 
Order of St. Vladimir, Third Class ; Commandership of the 
Legion of Honour and Croix de Guerre ; the Order of Leopold 
and the Belgian Croix de Guerre, and the Order of St. Maurice 
and Lazarus. 

Major-General R. S. May served on the Staff in various 
capacities, beginning as G.S.O., third grade, on the lines of 
communication. Later on he was appointed deputy quarter- 
master-general at G.H.Q. in France. Mentioned in despatches 
no less than eight times, he received the C.B., C.M.G., and 
D.S.O., and numerous foreign decorations. 

Major-General Sir R. Pinney in 1914 and 1915 com- 



GENERAL OFFICERS 361 

manded the 23rd Infantry Brigade in France, and took part in 
the battle of Neuve Chapelle. He was promoted major-general, 
and in 1916 commanded the 35th (Bantam) Division ; and 
subsequently, from September, 1916, to end of the war, he 
commanded the 33rd Division. He was awarded the K.C.B. 
and Legion of Honour. 

Major-General Sir Charles V. F. Townshend, M.P., 
C.B., D.S.O., took command of the 6th Division in Mesopotamia 
in May, 1915. The division had been concentrated for the 
advance up the Tigris ; and after defeating the Turks in the 
second action of Qurna, May 31st, 1915, he pushed up the river 
in H.M.S. Comet to Amara, and received the surrender of the 
Turkish force there. On August 1st the division began their 
advance against Kut-el-Amara, which was occupied on Sep- 
tember 29th, after a brilliant little action extending over two 
days. The advance was continued towards Baghdad, and at 
Ctesiphon a heavy battle was fought on November 22nd to 
24th, after which the division fell back to Kut. On Decem- 
ber 7th the town was closely invested, and, despite the attempts 
to relieve him, General Townshend had to surrender on 
April 29th. He remained a prisoner in Turkish hands until 
October 17th, 1918, when he left for Smyrna to initiate peace 
pourparlers on behalf of the Turks. He reached Mitylene on 
October 20th, and telegraphed a long message to the Foreign 
Office. The peace negotiations thus begun were carried to a 
successful issue, and General Townshend made his way home. 

Brig. -General L. F. Ashburner was present at the Suvla 
landing as brigade major of the 34th Brigade, and later on com- 
manded the 96th Brigade at Messines. He was five times 
mentioned in despatches, and for a time was Inspector of 
Infantry in England. 

Brig. -General R. Barnett-Barker, D.S.O., assisted in 
the organisation and training of the 22nd Royal Fusiliers as 
second in command, and went to France as lieutenant-colonel 
in command of them at the end of 1915. He was appointed in 
November, 1917, to the command of the 3rd Brigade, and in 
January, 1918, was transferred to the 99th Brigade. He was 
killed in action on March 25th, 1918. 

Brig. -General G. K. Cockerill was in command of the 7th 
Battalion Royal Fusiliers at the outbreak of war ; but before 
the battalion left for France he was moved to the War Office as 
Director of Special Intelligence, where he rendered very valu- 



362 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

able service. He was awarded the C.B., became a Commander 
of the Legion of Honour, and, in addition to Japanese and Rus- 
sian orders, he received the Orders of the Crown of Belgium and 
Crown of Italy. 

Brig.-General T. G. Cope commanded the 176th Infantry 
Brigade, and was awarded the C.M.G. and D.S.O. 

Brig.-General C. J. Hickie commanded the 7th Infantry 
Brigade. 

Brig.-General E. T. Le Marchant commanded a brigade 
during 1915 and 1916, at first with the temporary rank of 
colonel and graded for pay as A.A.G., and later as temporary 
brigadier-general in command of the 190th Brigade while they 
were devoted to coast defence and draft-finding. In 1917 he was 
attached to the Staff in France. He was awarded the C.B.E. 

Brig.-General H. Newenham commanded the 2nd 
Battalion in the landing at Gallipoli and was severely wounded. 
He was later employed in the War Office and in command of 
an area. He was awarded the C.B. for his services at Gallipoli. 

Brig.-General B. G. Price was a major in the 1st Battalion 
R.F. from August, 1914, to April 5th, 1915, when he received the 
brevet of lieutenant-colonel and took command of the 7th Bat- 
talion Warwickshire Regiment. In July of the same year he was 
in command of the 1st Battalion R.F. as lieutenant-colonel until 
February 5th, 1916, when he became brigadier-general com- 
manding the 150th Infantry Brigade. He took part in all the 
battles of his brigade until March 1st, 1918, when he went to 
Plymouth and remained there till October 1st, 1918. From 
October 20th until the Armistice he commanded the 152nd LB. 
in its advance from the Scheldt to Mons. He received the 
brevet of colonel, and was awarded the C.B., C.M.G. , D.S.O., 
and several foreign orders. 

Brig.-General A. C. Roberts, C.M.G., D.S.O., commanded 
the 3rd Battalion in France and Salonika, and was promoted to 
a brigade in the latter theatre. 

Brig.-General Gordon S. Shephard, D.S.O. , M.C., flew 
over to France with the first five squadrons on August 13th, 
1914. He received the Legion of Honour from General Joffre 
for good reconnaissance work during the retreat from Mons ; 
and in January, 1915, he won the Military Cross. He was pro- 
moted temporary major and squadron commander R.F.C. on 
December 1st, 1914. Subsequently he became brevet major 
and brevet lieutenant-colonel, received the D.S.O., and was five 



GENERAL OFFICERS 363 

times mentioned in despatches. For the last year he was in 
command of a brigade of the R.F.C. He was one of the 
youngest brigadiers in the army when he was accidentally 
killed early in the year 1918. 

Brig. -General C. T. Shipley, C.B., commanded the Notts 
and Derby (afterwards called 139th) Brigade (T.F.) in the 
46th North Midland Division from August 4th, 1914, until 
June, 1917 (in France from February, 1915) ; and the 193rd 
Brigade at home from August, 1917, until April, 1919. He was 
awarded the C.B. 

Brig. -General G. A. Stevens, C.M.G., D.S.O., was 
adjutant of the 8th Durham Light Infantry (Territorials) ; 
went to France with the battalion April 18th, 1915, and served 
as adjutant until December 20th, 1915, when he was given 
command of the 6th Durham L.I. (T.) with rank of lieutenant- 
colonel. On April 25th, 1916, he joined the 8th Canadian 
Infantry Brigade as brigade major, with rank of major. On 
July 12th, 1916, he joined the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment 
in command, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. On July 20th 
he became commander of the 2nd R.F. He took over command 
of the 90th Infantry Brigade on November 13th, 1917, with the 
rank of brigadier-general, retaining this appointment until the 
disbandment of the brigade in September, 1919. He was 
awarded the D.S.O. January 14th, 1916 ; promoted brevet 
lieutenant-colonel January 1st, 1917 ; received the Belgian 
Croix de Guerre January 10th, 1919, and the C.M.G. June 3rd, 
1919 ; and was six times mentioned in despatches. 

Brig.-General W. F. Sweny was in 1915 promoted from 
major 4th Battalion R.F. to command the 2nd East Yorkshires. 
He was wounded at Hill 60 and again at Turko Farm. On his 
return to France he was given command of the 61st Infantry 
Brigade ; and in June, 1916, he was again wounded in Ypres 
while making a personal reconnaissance. Rejoining again in 
1917, he commanded the 72nd Brigade in the fighting at Vimy 
Ridge and Messines. After a short rest in England he com- 
manded the 41st Infantry Brigade in 1918 during the crossing 
of the Lys (when he was awarded the Legion of Honour) 
and the crossing of the Scheldt. Seven times mentioned in 
despatches, he gained the C.M.G. and D.S.O. 

Brig.-General H. A. Walker in 1914 was brigade major 
in the Meerut Division, and subsequently commanded the 
16th Infantry Brigade until he lost his left arm in action on 



364 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

October 16th, 1918. Nine times mentioned in despatches, he 
received the C.M.G. and D.S.O. 

Brig. -General Hon. R. White raised and commanded the 
10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was promoted to command the 
184th Infantry Brigade in 1916, and retained his command 
until March, 1918, when he was severely wounded. Six times 
mentioned in despatches, he was awarded the C.B., C.M.G. and 
D.S.O. , and promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. 



THE BATTLE OF LE CATEAU 

We * halted on the near side of Inchy just as it started to 
pour with rain, and then, to put the lid on it, we were taken 
for outposts. This was the worst da}' we had at all ; for some 
time I had been having a job to get along at all, what with my 
feet and chafe, and the men were dead beat. However, 
D Company were not taken for outposts after all, they were 
only in support, so we did get some sleep in. Also I got my 
boots off for the first time for six days, and managed to buy a 
pair of socks and some boracic powder, after which I was a 
new man. At dawn of the 26th we moved back through Inchy 
and took up an entrenched position behind it at Cambrai. We 
dug trenches frantically for a short time, but there were not 
enough tools, and no facilities for overhead cover, and very 
little time. 

When we had done what we could, the 5 th t relieved us in 
the trenches, and we were ordered back in support. By this 
time the artillery duel was in full swing. Behind the position 
was a little sunken lane running parallel with the position, and 
just as we were getting back to this a hail of shell burst right 
over the battalion. My platoon was sitting down just by the 
lane, and the first shell knocked over five men and punctured 
my water bottle. We then doubled about 20 yards into the 
lane, where there was a good deal of confusion, and on the 
right there was a short panic before the officers got the men 
under control. I am glad to say my platoon did not get out of 
control at all. 

We then lay in the lane all day, quite snug. Pellets of all 
sorts whistled over our heads, but down in the lane there was 
practically no danger, and we were able to cook and eat a hot 
meal. Our guns pounded away hour after hour, and in front 
the rifle fire kept going pretty steadily. At about one there 
was a lull in the firing, and we all thought we had beaten them 
off. 

Suddenly they opened a tremendous burst of firing in the 

centre of the line, to our right. All their guns seemed to be 

* 4th Royal Fusiliers. 

j Northumberland Fusiliers. 



366 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

concentrated on a village that was there, and about 3.30 the 
order came for a general retirement. Then I saw a sight I hope 
never to see again. Our line of retreat was down two roads 
which converged on a village about a mile behind the position. 
Down these roads came a mob. Men from every regiment were 
there, guns, riderless horses, limbers packed with wounded, 
quite unattended and lying on each other, jolting over ruts, etc. 
It was not a rout, only complete confusion. This was the 
Germans' chance. One battery of artillery sent forward or 
one squadron of cavalry would have turned this rabble into a 
complete rout, and the whole army would have been disposed 
of and cut up piecemeal. Meanwhile we were the only regiment 
I saw in any order. We had not been engaged, and had only 
lost 1 officer (Sampson, hit in the stomach) and about 30 
men ; we had also had a hot meal, so that we were in good 
condition. When the retirement was ordered we went back 
in a succession of extended lines, in absolute order, and formed 
up behind a farmhouse near where the roads met. Here we 
waited in mass, while the rest of the army streamed past. It 
was a most trying half-hour. It seemed inevitable that they 
would follow up, and then the jam in that village would have 
been indescribable. I have since heard that they had sustained 
fearful losses, and also a division of French cavalry was covering 
our retreat. When the rabble had got past we moved off, 
marching at attention, arms sloped, fours dressed, etc., through 
the village. By this time the rest of the brigade had formed 
up, and we took up a covering position behind the village, 
which we hung on to, expecting an attack any moment ; but 
it never came, and about 7 p.m. we moved off again, and 
marched till 1 a.m. I believe we got a good mark for this show 
from Smith-Dorrien and Hamilton. Of course, we had no 
reason to lose our formation, but a panic is very catching, and 
there is no doubt that at one time we were the only troops who 
could have put up any show at all. — Extract from the diary of 
Lieutenant Frederick Longman, killed at Herlies, October 18th, 
1914. 



THE LANDING AT GALLIPOLI 

We had several reconnaissances by air and sea. I took part 
in one on the Queen Elizabeth, which was most interesting, from 
Lemnos. We had assembled here transports and fleet, a 
splendid sight, and here we practised landing and getting men 
into boats, rowing, etc. 

On the 23rd, by night, the ships containing the covering 
force, i.e., 86th Brigade, consisting of the 2nd Royal Fusiliers, 
Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Royal Munster Fusiliers, Lancashire 
Fusiliers, and warships, sailed to Tenedos, where we lay on the 
24th and completed necessary transfers of men to warships, 
etc., etc. Half my battalion and headquarters went on board 
H.M.S. Implacable about 7 p.m., from which ship we had been 
practising getting into boats, and so on ; the other half- 
battalion, under Brandreth, went on board a fleet minesweeper 
for the night. At about 10.30 p.m. we all sailed for the 
Gallipoli peninsula, arriving there by night. We had a good 
breakfast on the Implacable at about 3.30 a.m. We then pro- 
ceeded to load up the boats, four rows of six boats each and a 
steam pinnace, about 25 to 30 men in a boat besides the six 
bluejackets to row when the pinnace cast us off. At 4.45 a.m. 
the bombardment by the fleet began, twelve or fourteen 
battleships (including the Queen Elizabeth, with 15-inch guns) 
all blazing away with all guns possible. You never heard 
such a din, but that was nothing to when we landed. About 
5.15 we started off in our tows with our mother-ship, the 
Implacable, in the middle, like a most majestic eagle and her 
brood. 

The captain of the Implacable, Lockyer, is a splendid chap. 
Indeed, the whole lot are top hole. He had his anchor hanging 
with a few feet of spare cable and took his ship right in along 
with our boats till the anchor dragged ; it was a very fine 
thing to do, and most undoubtedly saved us many losses in 
the boats and landing. 

All the officers and men of the Implacable were splendid and 
most awfully good to us ; they fed the men in the evening, and 



368 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

gave them a splendid hot meal at 3.30 a.m., which made all 
the difference to them in the bad time that was coming. How- 
ever, to continue, while we (W and X Companies) were being 
towed towards our beach, called "X," the remaining half- 
battalion (i.e., Y and Z Companies), on the minesweeper, were 
coming on. They were to come in as far as the vessel could go 
and then be landed by the boats in which we were when we 
had got on shore. Very soon the ships had to stop firing on the 
beaches, and then at once the enemy opened fire, and then 
began such an awful carnage as I hope I may never see any- 
thing like again. 

As regards our half-battalion in the boats, we got off in the 
most extraordinary way while getting ashore. I can only put 
it down to the way the Implacable plastered the beach at close 
range. However, we were to have our bad time later on. 

As we were being towed ashore a few rifle shots sang over us 
and round us. I think we only lost a few men actually in the 
boats. About 100 yards from the shore the launches cast us off, 
and we rowed in for all we were worth till the boats grounded, 
then jumped into the water, up to chest in some places, waded 
ashore, then swarmed up the cliff, nearly perpendicular, but 
fortunately soft enough for a good foothold. The cliff was about 
100 to 120 feet high. As soon as we got up we came under fire 
from front and both flanks. However, we pushed on and got 
into one of their trenches. Meantime the other half-battalion 
was landing. I then sent one company (X Company), under 
Frank Leslie, to the left front, one (W Company) straight on 
and to the right front. The fire was very hot from rifles, 
machine guns, and shrapnel, and our losses were very heavy 
at once. However, it was absolutely necessary to secure a 
footing to enable the beach to be used, so we went on. I can 
never say enough for the gallantry of the men under these 
really trying circumstances, exposed to fire from front and both 
flanks and losing heavily. I had instructions to join up with 
the Lancashire Fusiliers who were landing at " W " beach 
and to capture Tekke hill, so I gave orders to hold on left and 
front and took all I could muster (about seven platoons) to 
attack Tekke. This we eventually captured with the bayonet 
and got a good many prisoners. 

To go back a moment, as we were rowing ashore we saw the 
Lancashires also rowing under a tremendous fire, one or two 
boats adrift with nearly all in them killed or wounded, so I 



THE LANDING AT GALLIPOLI 369 

knew that there would not be many of them ashore. At about 
7 or 8 a.m. I got signal communication with brigade west of 
Tekke through H.M.S. London, and learned that I was in 
command of brigade (General Hare being wounded). I could, 
of course, not get there at present. I also got signal communi- 
cation with the King's Own Scottish Borderers from " Y " 
beach to say that they and Anson Battalion had landed, but 
could not join up (they were about three miles north of us). 
I also learned by signal later on that the landing on " V " 
beach was hung up for the present. 

To return, it was more than ever important to capture 
Tekke now, so we pushed on and eventually reached the hill, 
which was strongly entrenched, with some mined trenches in 
front of it. The hill was taken about noon under view of the 
Implacable, whose crew cheered us on. I was wounded here, 
but managed to carry on for a bit and eventually, with the 
help of Crowther, my servant, managed to get into a sort of 
gully with some more wounded, where we were more or less 
under cover. Shafto then came to me about 3 p.m. and told 
me that our centre, which was necessarily very weak, was 
falling back. I sent a telephone message to our beach, where the 
87th Brigade were now landing, and some time later we got 
reinforcements from the Border Regiment. In the meantime 
our party were very nearly cut off and captured ; it was a most 
unpleasant time. The men made a splendid stand, and we were 
reinforced about 4 p.m. I was then obliged to get to the 
dressing station. I had had my foot " first-aided," and with 
Crowther 's help managed to get to the station, the most 
unpleasant journey I ever had. 

We lost Frank Leslie, Scudamore, Brickland, C. de Trafford, 
killed during the morning, and 12 other officers wounded, 
George Guyon shot in the head, Brandreth (slight), Totty had 
his arm amputated three times, Winslade shot through thigh, 
Daniell broken thigh, Collings shot through chest just above 
heart, Hanham right arm (slight), and self. 

The tremendous fire of the warships did very little damage 
to the enemy's trenches, which were very good and elaborate, 
but all stone work was knocked flat. 

Our beach was a mass of enormous holes from the fire of 
H.M.S. Implacable. 

Our brigade was washed out temporarily, as the losses were 
so heavy. The remainder of the battalion joined to the Hamp- 

F. B B 



370 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

shires to make one battalion. The Dublins and Munsters were 
joined also. 

My battalion had lost, killed and wounded, on May ioth, 
20 officers and about 800 men. 

We hung on during the night, and were attacked five or six 
times. — Letter from Lieut. -Colonel H. Newenham from Gallipoli, 
April 2jth, 1915. 



DESCRIPTION OF THE FLOOD AT GALLIPOLI 

A Great Disaster 

It was a dark night in the trenches at Suvla Bay, and 
November 26th will long be remembered, and perhaps spoken 
of, in years to come. The men had just " stood to," and the 
sergeant-major reported " Garrison's correct, sir," when a 
terrible clap of thunder, worse than a bombardment of high 
explosive, broke the stillness of the night. This was followed 
by zigzags of lightning which appeared to split the heavens in 
two, and then rain fell as only it can fall in the tropics. Within 
half an hour the trenches held a foot of water, rushing so 
quickly that it was difficult to stand. At 7 p.m. the barricade 
gave way, and a solid wall of water 7 feet high swept into the 
trench, carrying everything and everybody before it. By 
8 p.m. the flood had reached its height, and the force of the 
water had somewhat abated, so that I was able to swim from 
a tree to No. 1 Platoon. The men were on the parados of the 
trench up to their breasts in water. It was the same with 
No. 2 Platoon. Only about nine rifles had been saved. No. 3 
Platoon had gathered on a high bit of land, and having no trees 
to hang on to, had formed groups and were clinging to each 
other. No. 4 Platoon were fighting for their lives, their part 
of the line being a maze of trenches, many of which had been 
washed away, burying men in the mud and making it very 
difficult for the men to retain a footing anywhere. 

At 2 a.m. the water began to subside, and the men were set 
to work to construct a breastworks behind the trenches. No 
tools being available, we had to do this by scooping up handfuls 
of earth, and by dawn a resemblance of cover had been formed, 
and we found it useful, for the enemy gave us about a dozen 
shrapnel. To add to our comforts, it began to freeze hard, and 
a snow blizzard came down, and the whole of the place was soon 
covered by snow. Many of the survivors of the flood died from 
exposure. With the help of the sergeant-major, I counted the 
company, and of the 139 only 69 remained. It was soon 

B B 2 



372 jROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

discovered that the ration party had been drowned, and all the 
food or drink we had was one gallon jar of rum. This we 
issued out, and Private Oldfield, who had swum to head- 
quarters, brought up orders that the line was to be held 
at all costs. This order was also brought to me by the 
adjutant. 

During this time — the first night — the cheerfulness of the men 
was marvellous. The slightest joke or mishap produced roars 
of laughter. By eight o'clock I had a few rifles in working order, 
and we were able to return the firing of the Turks. But I gave 
the order to cease firing as soon as the enemy ceased, and during 
the whole of the 27th very little rifle fire took place. All day 
the weather was freezing, and more men died. Towards night 
it turned to rain, and it was impossible to move. 

At 2 a.m. 28th the commanding officer brought me half a 
bottle of whisky and told me that the adjutant and himself 
were the only living persons at the battalion headquarters. 

At 3.30 a.m. the adjutant brought me two officers to help 
me — all my own officers and most of the N.C.O.'s had gone 
under — and told me to let the men who could not fight make 
their own way to the Red Cross station. I passed the order 
on to each platoon and about 30 men left, hardly one of 
whom could walk upright, most of them having to crawl 
through the mud and water on all fours. I then counted up 
and found I had only 27 living souls in the firing line and 
only ten rifles in working order. 

About 5.30 the order to " retire to brigade headquarters " 
came along, and, after waiting for X Company to get clear, the 
company started in the following order : No. 1 Platoon, 
No. 4, No. 2, No. 3. I stayed with the last four men. We had 
hardly gone 30 yards before the first, third and fourth man 
were killed, the two first shot through the head and the latter 
through the heart. Ten yards further the other man got it, 
and as I lifted him to dress his wound the breath rushed out 
of his body with an awful sound. I remember falling in the 
mud and sticking a bayonet in the ground to help me out, and 
the next clear thing was Lieutenant Wilkinson rubbing my 
feet and bending my toes. They did hurt. On Tuesday, 
30th, the corps commander, Sir Julian Byng, inspected the 
battalion, 84 strong, survivors of 661 O.R. and 22 officers. 
Poor W Company mustered two, Sergeant-Major Paschall and 
myself. 



THE FLOOD OF GALLIPOLI 373 



W Company. 






Total strength 


• 


• 27 


Distribution : — 






Effective . 


• 


. 18 


Non-effective 


• 


• 9 


Distribution of effectives : — 






Signallers . 


• 


1 


Sergeants . 


• 


• 4 


Regimental dump* 


• 


. 10 


Other ranks 


• 


• 3 

18—8=10 
Robert Gee. 


(Captain 


Robert 


Gee, V.C., M.P.) 


* Eight reported i 


jnfit. 





"No. 8 PLATOON."* 
By H. E. Harvey, D.C.M., M.M. 

" Presence of mind and courage in distress 
Are more than armies to command success." 

' Duff, old son, that's my kip, and I'm ' getting down to it ' 
right now." 

Duff looked at the speaker with an annoyed air, but pro- 
ceeded to drag his " gear " — full marching order, bomber's 
' kosher," rifle, a couple of gas helmets and a blanket — along 
the dirty floor of the disused and darkened French brewery at 
Hersin, in search of a space yet unclaimed. 

The whole battalion was tired and " fed up " with daily 
plodding back to the line, and courtesies were scarce. 

" Hi ! keep your ugly feet out of that ' possie,' " yelled one 
termed " Spud," partaking of a meagre supper — a mass of 
jam on a biscuit. 

Duff turned slowly and contemplated the youngster in 
silence. Then came a shriek and a muffled curse from beneath 
another grimy blanket, on which the forlorn bed-seeking Duff 
had planted a heavy foot. 

He wandered off. 

" Say, Vic, can't you shove a bit for your old pal ? " And, 
thus finding room, he pulled off his boots, and, after roughly 

* This sketch refers to the counter-attack by the 22nd Royal Fusiliers 
at Vimy Ridge May 22nd — 23rd, 1916. The salient facts are true, and the 
following decorations were given in connection with the episode : — 

Distinguished Service Order. 

Captain William Archibald Miller, M.B., R.A.M.C, Spec. Res. 
(attd. 22nd (S.) Bn. R. Fus.). 
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Capt. Miller 
followed the front line of our attack over ground swept by shell, 
machine-gun and rifle fire. He searched in every direction for 
wounded, and gained valuable information regarding the situation. 
This he at once communicated, and again continued his search 
for wounded. This officer has on previous occasions shown 
distinguished gallantry. 

Military Cross. 

and Lt. Richard Hugo Gregg, 30th Bn. (attd. 22nd (S.) Bn. R. Fus.). 

For conspicuous gallantry and initiative. His senior officer 

being wounded in attack, 2nd Lt. Gregg took command of the 

company, and on reaching the captured trench at once consolidated 



VIMY RIDGE, MAY 22ND, 1916 375 

arranging his tackle and extinguishing the stump of candle 
was, like the majority of B Company, soon sleeping soundly. 

The crowded and inhospitable billet, save for snores, was 
noisy no longer. 

Maybe an hour had passed, when, though few were conscious 
of it, heavy feet clambered up the rickety iron staircase outside 
the building, and, thrusting aside the sacking that hung across 
the doorway, the orderly sergeant lumbered into the room. 
Kicking a couple of the nearest blanketed figures, he shouted, 
" Stand to, every man ! D'yer hear that, yer blighters ? 
Full marching order ! " then vanished to spread the joyous 
news elsewhere. 

The gentlemen so rudely aroused each contrived to thrust 
forth a grubby, sleepy face, and asked the other " what the 

all the racket was about." Seeing no others moving, 

they contented themselves with the conclusion that some 
" chump " had been " vin-rougeing," or had had an extra lot 
of rum, and curled up once more to slumber. 

One or two others, also disturbed, lay awake a while in the 
dark, discussing the undreamed-of occurrence. 

" What the devil's the game now ? " demanded " Press." 
He was dubbed " Press " because of his wonderful capacity 
for collecting, magnifying and spreading rumours. 

" Stand to ! What the devil next ? What's he talking 
about ? 'Blige me ! that's a very poor joke. " 

the position. Then, finding that his flanks were unsupported, he 
showed remarkable ability in the withdrawal of his company. 

Distinguished Conduct Medal. 
278 Sgt. P. W. Fisher, 22nd Bn. R. Fus. (killed Oct., 1916). 

For conspicuous ability. When his company had attacked and 
captured an enemy trench he organised the defence of a flank with 
great coolness and skill. When a withdrawal was ordered he again 
displayed great ability, directing the various parties by the bearings 
of certain stars. 
1226 L.-Sgt. C. A. Wheeler, 22nd Bn. R. Fus. 

For conspicuous gallantry. He volunteered for, and carried out, 
two very risky reconnaissances after a successful assault by his 
company. Later he guided an officer of the R.A.M.C. and remained 
with him under machine-gun and rifle fire till the last wounded man 
had been brought in. 
671 L.-C. W. H. Metcalfe, 22nd Bn. R. Fus. 

For conspicuous gallantry when assisting an officer of the 
R.A.M.C. and carrying wounded men into safety under heavy rifle 
and machine-gun fire. 

ALSO 

D.C.M. to Pte. G. Webb, 22nd Bn. R. Fus. 
M.M to Pte. P. Cannot, 22nd Bn. R. Fus. 



376 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

But little Joey took a more serious view, and thought he'd 
better get his equipment together. 

Spud, too, suggested that perhaps the Bodies had broken 
through somewhere. 

' Don't talk soft," said Dave ; " and what if they have ? 
We're not the reserve brigade. Why, man, we're not due ' in ' 
for a fortnight, and then only for fatigues. And don't forget," 
he added with great impressiveness, " we're nineteen kilos 
from the line. Don't talk soft, boy. It's some one having a 
game. I'm ' getting down to it ' again." 

In a few minutes slumber once more reigned supreme. 

But shortly afterwards agile feet bounded up the stairs. 
The gleam of an electric torch found its way through the canvas 
at the doorway, followed immediately by the figure of the 
captain. For a second or two he stood like one amazed. 

" Scarce a soul of 'em stirring ! By , turn out ! Stand to, 

every man ! " he shouted in a voice that moved the drowsiest. 
. . . " Turn out there ! D'yer hear ? Take that man's name, 
corporal. Where's the sergeant ? Turn every man out at 
once, battle order." 

The sergeant jumped up in bewilderment. Men groped in 
the darkness and confusion for candles, cursing lustily. Blan- 
kets and feet were indiscriminately trodden upon. Irritability 
was a common possession, while discipline seemed cast to 
the winds. 

Notwithstanding, the company tumbled out on parade 
within fifteen minutes, though scattered about the now 
deserted billet floor were stray gas helmets, mess tins, etc., 
and pieces of bread and cheese upon which some bold rodents 
had already pounced voraciously. 

Outside in the cobbled yard, beneath stars half hidden by 
driving clouds, the company answered a hurried roll call. 

Curious expectancy seemed to fill the minds of everybody, 
from the sergeant-major downwards. 

Dave, however, was jocular. 

" Try-on," he muttered. 

" Time test," asserted Soaker. 

But when the quartermaster came along the ranks handing 
to each man a tin of Maconochie speculation grew wild and 
varied. 

Still Dave was jubilant, and refused to be discomforted. 

Then came the order, " Bombers to the front ! " 



VIMY RIDGE, MAY 22ND, 1916 377 

Dave's mouth opened wide, for Dave was a bomber ! 

The company " moved to the left in fours " out into the now 
crowded Rue Cambon. Men of A Company pushed past on 
their way to the alarm post. Ammunition mules and limbers 
forced their way in the darkness through columns of men 
moving left and right. 

The unexpected tramp of feet and rumble of wheels had 
brought the inhabitants to their windows and doors, while the 

battalion moved to the outskirts of the town, passing the 

shires en route. The whole brigade was evidently on the move. 

Reaching the main road, the column halted, while slowly 
towards them came a number of now grim-looking motor 
'buses, black and boarded, no longer the gay crimson things 
that had once flitted down Bond Street, London. 

" What about it now ? " queried Joey as No. 8 Platoon 
clambered aboard one of the vehicles, in which, packed 
together in uneasy postures and careless of future develop- 
ments, most of the men fell asleep. 

Some one muttered something about a " joy-ride." 

" J°y- r id e I " sa id Spud. " Yus, an' it means dirty work 
somewhere. Don't get joy-rides for nothing ; there's some 
'stunt 'on, 111 bet." 

The promoter of this outburst sneeringly suggested that 
" some one " had got the " wind up." Spud merely spouted 
contemptuously at the speaker. 

The 'bus rocked and jolted along the worn and ill-kept road, 
whither none save the driver knew ; but the guns at length 
sounded louder, and as the 'bus toiled to the top of the hill 
the pale, sickly glow of Verey lights lit up the horizon. 

A few minutes later the vehicles stopped at the cross-roads. 
Sleepy and cramped Tommies turned out once more, while 
officers and N.C.O.'s moved quickly up and down, getting 
order out of chaos and their various platoons into " fours " ; 
and even as men leaned heavily on their rifles the column began 
to move. 

Moody silence possessed the usual bright spirits of No. 8, 
while only one or two sought the solace of a cigarette as, half 
dozing, they tramped wearily on. 

The faintest streak of dawn was just discernible as B Com- 
pany of the 22nd Royal Fusiliers filed into a wood on the left 
of the road, the interior of which had, for an obvious purpose, 
been cleared of undergrowth. 



378 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

It was now plain to all that there was a big strafe on to 
their front, about three miles away, and flares had now given 
place to the lurid glow of bursting shells. 

Obeying orders, the men lay down fully equipped, to snatch 
what sleep they might ; and 6 a.m. saw them eagerly sipping 
excellent hot tea which the cooks, who in some remarkable way 
had " turned up," had prepared. 

The gunfire had died down considerably by 8 a.m., and a 
buoyancy of spirits had returned. Dave started his pet song 
about the " Tulip and a big red rose," but this outburst was 
at least temporarily subdued when, after an order that no man 
was to touch his water bottle without permission, each was 
handed an extra bandolier of ammunition and a couple of 
Mills' bombs. 

The platoons then moved out into the sunlight at intervals 
towards the line. 

No word had filtered through as to what the hurried move 
really meant, and it was not until the communication trenches 
were reached that wounded stragglers told of " lost trenches." 

B Company, being unfamiliar with this sector and its 
characteristics, immediately concluded that the chaps at 
present in the position must be "a poor lot." So far they 
could boast they'd never lost a trench (or, be it noted, won 

one) ; and as they passed small parties of the Rifles, the 

present garrison, they felt elated and proud to have been called 
upon to " take over." 

The new-comers filed into the " communicator " towards the 
position, in due time reaching low ground beneath a ridge. 

From the R.E. dump by which they passed each man 
grabbed alternately a spade or pick. 

Despite this additional burden, hearts grew lighter. After 
all, then, it was not to be the somewhat distrusted " stunt over 
the top," but merely a digging fatigue — a new line, perhaps. 
Thus hope and conjecture swayed from side to side, but futile 
discussion was checked by the sergeant's strongly voiced order 
to No. 8 to "lead on." 

Along the battered communication trench of French origin, 
which ran snake-like up the chalky slopes of Vimy Ridge, the 
men struggled panting, whilst on all sides lay ghastly signs of 
recent havoc and slaughter. 

After all, it was admitted, " the poor blighters must have 
had a hellish time " ; and this flash of generous feeling met 



VIMY RIDGE, MAY 22ND, 1916 379 

with general endorsement as the enemy opened out a barrage 
just ahead. 

A few yards below the crest of the ridge the captain climbed 
out of the trench, the platoons obeying the order to crawl after 
him in single file across the grassy, shell-pitted slope. Then 
the order was passed along to " halt and dig in," some 
unauthorised person adding, " like the devil." 

And B Company dug, using pick and spade with a zeal that 
none could reproach. Nor needed they any goading, for a 
Boche airman had evidently " spotted " the movement, and 
his heavy batteries, anticipating trouble, were already 
" searching " the ground. 

Five p.m. saw their toil nearly completed. B Company was 
well down out of sight ; and some, having delved their allotted 
6 feet, sat complacently smoking on the new trench bottom. 

The shelling which had continued throughout the day had 
proved troublesome, and although the " Fritzes " had not so 
far correctly gauged the range of the new line, they had 
succeeded in putting a number of 5.4's horribly close and 
bespattering it with shrapnel ; and the popular Corporal 
Valentine, only back from leave the preceding day, was among 
those who had " gone west." 

With their work completed, the men found time to talk 
things over ; and the varied opinions expressed and the 
caustic criticism which some aroused would have proved 
interesting reading had it been recorded verbatim. 

The German artillerymen were accorded a good deal of 
hearty abuse, and a sudden retaliation by one of the British 
heavy batteries pleased Joey in particular ; and as the 
weighty 9.2's flew overhead the chirpy little cockney assured 
everybody that " that was the ' stuff ' to give 'em." 

Now it so happened that the position of the new trench did 
not afford much, if any, opportunity to its occupants for 
locating with any accuracy the enemy lines. The immediate 
front of No. 8 Platoon was a rising grassy slope of about 
25 yards, disfigured by numerous shell holes, some of recent 
date, others partly overgrown with tufts of grass and bright- 
tinted poppies — a vivid contrast with the chalky soil in which 
they flourished. 

As to what lay beyond the crest of the ridge none yet knew ; 
and as there were strict orders that men were not to leave the 
trench, venturesome spirits, keen for reconnaissance, were held 



380 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

in check. Views left and right, too, were partially obscured, 
on the one hand by the high parados of the communicator, 
which ran almost at right angles with the trench, and on the 
other by the natural contour of the ground. Away to the 
rear it gradually dropped some hundreds of feet, and about 
three miles off, half hidden by surrounding trees, lay the small, 
shell-wrecked village Villers-au-Bois. 

Late in the afternoon the captain arrived to inspect the 
trench, and, after making a few suggestions for its improve- 
ment, moved away again without further instructions. 

The corporal thought it " darned funny " ; but further 
conversation was discouraged, as the enemy again commenced 
to drop some " big stuff " in the vicinity. 

As it grew dark, Verey lights once more shot upwards, some 
coming to earth just at the top of the ridge, where they burned 
themselves out with the fierce familiar hissing. 

The " Boche," it was evident, was disturbed about some- 
thing, for suddenly his lights of ill omen, blood-red, burst 
upwards in the darkness. 

Prepared for the inevitable response to this urgent call for 
artillery support, No. 8 Platoon crouched low in the trench ; 
and as shells of all descriptions crashed to earth around them 
oaths and threats were plentiful and varied. It was, at any 
rate, of some satisfaction to know the opposing front line of 
" square-headed swabs " were to some extent discomforted 
by their own artillery, for vivid green rockets hurriedly 
followed, the enemy's signal to the guns to lengthen range. 

" 'Tain't too' ealthy," piped Spud, " but I reckon we'll be 
relieved to-night. I'm about beat. Can't march and dig all 
day and ' stand to ' all night too. They're bound to relieve 
us to-night. 'Tain't reasonable to expect fellers to ' stick it.' " 

' Perhaps not," said the corporal, " but you must recollect 
there's a war on somewhere ! " 

At this some grinned ; others groused. 

It was shortly after 8 p.m. — ten minutes after, to be precise — 
when along the top of the trench scudded the company 
sergeant-major with the order, " Get your ' stuff ' on." The 
" stuff " referred to was merely haversacks, extra bandoliers 
and bombs, for in positions such as this complete fighting 
equipment was worn continuously day and night. 

The men buckled each other's haversacks with alacrity ; 
spades and picks were slung across the back and held in position 



VIMY RIDGE, MAY 22nd, 1916 381 

by the equipment. Cigarettes were proffered freely, and 
appetites became already whetted at the thought of omelettes 
and fried potatoes, for, of course, they were" being relieved." 

But this and other fond imaginings were quickly dispelled. 

" What was that ? " 

" Going over in ten minutes ! " 

The sergeant now confirmed the hurriedly spread news. 

" Yes, my lads," he said, with an attempt at gaiety, " and 
there's nine minutes to go ; and don't forget your bayonets, 
lads; that's the stuff to give them." 

Just at that moment a heavy shell exploded near at hand, 
making what Duff termed " a nasty mess " of our poor old 
sergeant-major. 

Officers now hurried along the top, and dropped into their 
respective positions with the platoons. Instructions were 
promptly passed along — " that the brigade were attacking, 
Berkshires on the left, K.R. Rifles on the right. No. 8 
Platoon to get into touch with the Rifles on their right flank, 
go over first two lines, take the third and consolidate." 

An officer went along the trench ensuring that every man 
understood the order. 

•P 1* *P *p 

" Three minutes to go ! " 

The last moments, maybe, of life found each man making 
final adjustments to his equipment, tightening belt or puttees 
and satisfying himself that his bayonet was securely fixed, 
his rifle bolt clean. 

Each had already picked a convenient foothold, or made one, 
by which to mount the parapet. Here and there chums shook 
hands and exchanged a few words of encouragement. 

" Half a minute to go ! " 

Some one said, " God love you all," then " Over you go, 

you fellows I " from the subaltern ; and No. 8 Platoon sailed 

away into the night and the shriek and droning of countless 

shells and bullets. . . . 

* * * * 

" What the ? Who's that ? Are you hit, chum ? " 

The reserve Lewis gun corporal stooped down to the huddled 

figure. " Where's it caught you, old man ? " he asked. 
The wounded man, a " runner " from brigade headquarters, 

slowly raised a blood-soaked arm, his hand tightly clenching a 

crumpled and be-mired scrap of paper. 



382 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

" Rush it along, chum," he pleaded " O.C. B Company. 
Stop 'em ! Attack's off ! " 

The " runner " dropped back unconscious. 

Clutching the written message, the gunner sprang to the 
top of the communicator, and plunged forward through the 
enemy barrage towards the crest of the ridge where he had seen 
B Company digging earlier in the day. 

He reached the newly made trench, but, save for some 
poor torn corpses, it was empty ! 

" Good God ! " he exclaimed ; " they're gone ! ' 

He stumbled across a moaning figure. 

" Where's B Company ? ' he demanded, with seeming 
callousness ; and in a weakened voice a dauntless spirit replied, 
" Gorn, chum ! Went over like one man, like 'eroes." 

The gunner dashed to the top of the ridge and yelled, 
"B Company, retire ! " It was the forbidden word, and futile 
in effect, for not a soul heard. The shriek and crash of missiles 
drowned his voice. 

The inky darkness was lit up by the explosion of thousands 
of shells ; while high above the fringe of flame red, green and 
white, and to the left orange, rockets rose and burst into 
myriad stars. 

The gunner raced forward. He must fetch the boys back ! 

But, just then one of the countless Boche bullets found a 
precious billet. The gunner dropped. 

B Company's only line of communication had snapped 1 
• * * • 

Ignorant of disaster, Platoons Nos. 5 and 8 had topped the 
ridge, joined flanks, and walked over " into it " with scarce a 
fear. 

" Don't bunch ! " yelled a warning voice. 

The line straightened out. 

It thinned. 

The men stumbled across the first trench — the old support 
line, pounded almost level. 

The British curtain of fire surged forward ahead of the 
advancing troops, while the enemy barrage enveloped them. 

Vile fumes partially choked them, and the torn ground shook 
with the concussion of heavy shells. Broken strands of barbed 
wire tore legs and feet. " Spent " nosecaps whizzed and 
hummed past overhead. Shrapnel burst and flew in all direc- 
tions, while spraying machine-gun bullets swept the line from 



VIMY RIDGE, MAY 22ND, 1916 383 

end to end, finding here and there a target in quivering 
flesh. 

There were now wide gaps in the line of indistinct figures, 
and a machine gun spurted and spat spitefully to No. 8's 
direct front. 

Tripped and torn with low entanglements, the attackers 
sighted their objective, pressed forward eagerly and covered 
the last few yards with a rush. Rifles were gripped for vicious 
thrusts with the bayonet ; but, reaching the parapet, they 
discovered that the enemy had rapidly withdrawn. 
Was it a ruse ? 

One, a bomber, whose position at the commencement of the 
attack had been about the centre of the line, now found him- 
self apparently the extreme left flank. Surprised, but unper- 
turbed, he hastily set to work to barricade the trench, goading 
others, more mystified, to improvise a reverse firing step. 

Boche machine-gun emplacements were torn down and the 
handy tinted sandbags flung into useful positions. 

Almost encircled, as it now seemed, by enemy fire, the men 
worked feverishly to consolidate, expecting momentarily 
heavy counter-attacks. 

The man on the extreme left moved along the captured 
portion of the trench, to collect bombs for the barricade, and 
to ascertain who was now in charge ; he had seen the captain 
fall half-way over. 

Pushing past several somewhat startled men, he at last 
came across the new subaltern, to whom he reported the 
situation on the left. 

" How many men are there down that end ? " anxiously 
inquired the sub. 

" I passed seven, sir." 

" That's only twenty-six all told ! " Glancing quickly 
around, he continued, " I want a volunteer to try and find out 
what's happened, to see if supports " 

" I'll go, sir," said the man from the left. 

Turning, the officer called, " Here you are, sergeant ; here's 
a chap who'll go with you." 

" I'll go too, sir," said Hamblin. 

" Get back to the line if you can," said the subaltern. " Tell 
'em how it is, and ask if they're sending supports. We're 
sticking here till you return. " 

Taking a hurried glance at the stars and the arc of fire for 



384 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

some guide as to direction, the three clambered over the top 
of the trench, out into the area where death still hurtled 
through the air in every direction. 

Keeping low, crawling, running and stumbling along, they 
moved away in the darkness. Then for a while they lay 
panting in the temporary shelter of a shell hole, and gazed 
around. Suddenly, 30 yards to the right, a Boche gunner 
opened fire, sending a hurricane of lead spraying over their 
heads. 

" Who is that ? " all three involuntarily whispered as for 
a few seconds a figure was silhouetted against the pale glow of 
a dropping flare. " A Boche outpost, possibly." 

Cautiously they crawled forward. 

Prepared for trouble, they approached in some sort of 
extended order, to discover a number of chums badly hit, 
lying in and around a large shell hole, while one, less hurt 
than his fellows, was binding up their wounds as best he could. 
' Is that you, Duff? " asked one, mortally wounded, of the 
bomber. 

" Yes. Who is — is that you, Dave ? " 

" Ah ! they've got me badly, I'm afraid." 

" We're going off for stretchers, old man. Keep quiet a 
bit ; we'll soon be back." 

The bomber did what he could to ease another poor lad who 
lay groaning alongside, then moved away with the others in 
search of assistance. 

They proceeded unchecked for about another 100 yards, 
and were brought to earth by a fiercely muttered challenge — 
in English ! 

" B Company patrol ! What the devil's B Company doing 
out there ? . . . Went over, d'yer say ? . . . My God ! The 
attack was cancelled ! ! " 

The battalion medical officer — for it was he — was clearly 
astounded. Fearless, and with a high sense of duty, he always 
found work to do in the front line on such occasions as this. 

" You must all come back. It's madness to stay there." 

" Well, sir," said the sergeant, " Mr. Carter won't withdraw 
without a satisfactory order ; and there's Mr. Thane and a 
bunch of our boys hit bad out there — walked right into a 
Boche gunner." 

" Must get them in somehow ! Can you show me the way 
back to them ? " said the M.O., thinking hard. 



VIMY RIDGE, MAY 22ND, 1916 385 

He gave a few curt orders to a group of stretcher-bearers, 
who, together with his orderly, quickly climbed out of the 
trench after him, and followed the figures moving away. The 
darkness of night was gradually giving place to the faintest 
grey of dawn — a sign which bade them hurry ere disaster 
overtook them. 

Leaving the stretcher-bearers to attend and bring in the 
group of wounded, the M.O. pressed on with the other three, 
still unscathed. 

It was folly now to halt for a second ; so, with enforced 
contempt of lead and iron, they once more providentially 
reached the captured sector of the trench. 

The M.O.'s order was brief. 

' The attack was cancelled," he told the subaltern. " You 
must withdraw at once ! " 

Grasping the situation, the subaltern said to the nearest 
man : " Pass it down from Mr. Carter, every man to lead out 
this way at once. Sergeant, you'll bring up the rear." 

So the haggard file of men crossed yet again the contested 
" strip," picking up en route among their own wounded one 
of the Londons (the late garrison), who had lain for three 
nights with a ghastly gash under a hurricane of missiles. 

Some, too, there were who are now numbered among the 
" missing " ; and at roll call No. 8 Platoon, of 40 odd, 
numbered 17. 

There were individual honours gained that day ; but on 
the morrow, when the brigadier addressed the remnants of the 
company in a little ruined orchard behind the line, he bestowed 
an honour on all with the revelation that they had " saved the 
face of the brigade " and gained for the battalion an envied 
reputation. 



T. C C 



THE SOMME 

I. — Before the Battle 

The valley of the Somme was indeed superb and a picture 
that hundreds would have liked to have viewed. 

In the early morning you would awaken to the song of birds 
in the trees above you, and that alone seemed to drive all care 
and worry away and made the heart young. Dragon-flies, at 
least six different colours, would drift noiselessly through the 
air ; beautiful coloured butterflies and fancy kinds of flies 
made every moment of the day really enjoyable. 

In Chipilly village there were some baths alongside of the 
canal, where our men had a hot bath and a change of under- 
clothes, and ioo yards away was an open swimming bath, 
where, when time permitted, our men splashed about in the 
water, and those who could enjoyed a good swim. 

Our tents in the wood were undermined by moles, and 
occasionally they would appear above ground, much to the 
amusement of the men. 

One morning my batman found one of them who had made 
himself quite snug in my slipper. He suffered the penalty for 
trespassing, was duly executed, his skin cured and sent to 
London. 

The magnificent view of the Somme and the lagoons we had 
from the wood seemed to elevate all our minds, and it stirred 
some of us on still further, for a few of the officers managed to 
get a boat and row from one lagoon to another until they 
reached Sailly Lorette. On their way some of them indulged 
in a swim, whilst the others prepared tea, which was afterwards 
enjoyed in true picnic style. 

Another day two of us paddled up again to the same place 
and then back by moonlight. It was truly a delightful trip. 

With regard to amusement for the men, they were not at all 
neglected, for we arranged cinema shows, concerts and football 
matches during our stay in the wood. The last open-air 
concert was a very successful one, nearly all officers and men 
attending. 



BEFORE THE SOMME BATTLE, 1916 387 

In the afternoons when the men happened to be free they 
would indulge in a little fishing down on the Somme lagoons 
in the valley below, and sometimes I believe they were rewarded 
by good catches. 

However, we were soon to leave our home of natural splen- 
dour and go further afield to school ourselves into the gentle 
art of defeating the enemy. 

We had orders to move, so we packed all our belongings and 
marched to the station, where we entrained for the villages of 
Ailly-sur-Somme and Picquigny, just a little south of Amiens. 
D Company were very comfortable and happy at the former 
place, and the rest of the battalion at the latter. 

After a few days D Company joined the remainder of the 
battalion at Picquigny and then, in conjunction with the rest 
of the brigade, went through five days of hard training. The 
section of the German line we were to attack at the beginning 
of the great offensive was almost exactly reproduced on the 
ground near Ailly-sur-Somme, and on this we rehearsed for the 
day itself. 

They were hard days, but that we did not mind so much, 
for at the end of it all the real thing was to come for which we 
had waited so long, and then we were to have the honour of 
being one of the assaulting battalions. 

On the day itself every available man would be wanted in 
the attack, so accordingly every man was sent out to the 
training ground. 

On June — we had orders to move, and in the early hours 
of morning we marched in full marching order, and carrying 
a supply of bombs, to Ailly, where we entrained for Heilly, in 
the forward area. 

The march to Ailly was not entirely a pleasant one, and I 
suppose the early hour of the day and the heavy load we 
carried accounted for anything but a pleasing or easy march. 

Our train journey was very slow, as seems usual in France, 
and we reached our destination and detrained by about 11 a.m. 

Then we proceeded on a march to Bray, where we were to be 
billeted for a night or two, and then up to the firing line. 

On our way we halted for an hour for a meal just off 
the Bray-Corbie road, where the Morlancourt-Chipilly road 
meets it. 

Our meal finished, we cleared up and continued our journey 
to billets, which were reached by 6 p.m. 

c c 2 



388 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

Our stay in Bray was a brief one, for on the 23rd we left in 
the early morning for Carnoy. 

Whilst we were here an army order was issued that all 
officers were to be equipped as much like the men as possible, 
and accordingly we went and interviewed the Q.M., who 
served us out with Tommies' tunics. We put them on. They 
felt strange, and we looked very funny in them, for they were 
really too short. We laughed ourselves, and everybody laughed 
when they saw us. However, we complied with the army order 
and had a good deal of fun out of it. Several times in the 
trenches the men would mistake their officers for other Tom- 
mies and would say such things as " After you with the mug, 
mate ! " " Give us a light, Bill," which highly amused the 
parties concerned. 

June 2yd. — We arrived at Carnoy and found it a hive of 
industry. Everybody was working ; shells of all sorts and 
sizes were being brought up ; plum puddings and flying pigs 
(trench mortar shells) were being carried to the forward dumps 
practically day and night. Barbed wire, corrugated iron, wood 
and iron stakes, trench ladders and a multitude of other things 
made up the R.E.'s dump, and in many other nooks and 
corners one would see cylinders of gas and liquid fire, smoke 
bombs, small arms ammunition and Red Cross appliances. 
Everything that was necessary to defeat the enemy was 
brought up from the rear and dumped in or near the trenches. 

On our way up from Bray we were delighted to see guns of 
every calibre dug in, it seemed everywhere ; in fact, the 
whole ground seemed alive with them, and every valley behind 
the line was indeed a very hotbed of destruction to spit at the 
enemy. So close were some of the batteries that if the Germans 
could only have discovered they were in those valleys a few 
shells from them would have put a good many out of action. 
In vain did they search for them, because they were so cleverly 
concealed. — From the diary of Captain H. Aley, nth Battalion. 

II. — After the Battle 

October igth, 1916. — It was fine seeing the places where all 
the heaviest fighting had been, e.g., Guillemont Station, the 
sugar refinery, etc., both now a pile of ruins of course. . . . 
The appearance of the country was lamentable. All trees are 
stripped of leaves, and Bois des Trones presents the most awful 



AFTER THE SOMME BATTLE, 1916 389 

ruins I have ever seen — dead horses, battered trees and 
trenches, ammunition, huge shell holes, all in one huge 
jumble. Efforts are being made to reconstruct the railway line 
which once ran through the wood. Once through the wood, the 
ground is not so bad, but the strength and command of the 
enemy's position at once become obvious on looking back. 
Having crossed that, we were soon in the neighbourhood of 
Guillemont. Here our howitzers are very much in evidence, 
guns of all calibres, and a bombardment is in progress. Shells 
can be seen coursing through the air every second. The posi- 
tion of the railway station is known only by a few almost 
demolished railway trucks. Our walk took us back vid the 
sugar refinery, where the enemy white flag of surrender is still 
flying. A previous walk took us down the valley from our 
camp in the direction of Mametz Wood. The railway is recon- 
structed nearly to the head of the valley now, and when this is 
done communications will be improved a hundredfold. — From 
the diary of Major Coxhead, gth Battalion. 



RECOLLECTIONS OF MIRAUMONT * 

The story of the battle of Miraumont on February 17th, 
1917, is a sad one, and but for the fact that there are some 
bright spots in the gloomy narrative recollections of what was 
perhaps the most disastrous of the battalion's engagements 
might well remain a fading memory. But there was glory too 
in that unsatisfactory battle, during which Fred Palmer 
earned his just reward of a V.C. 

It had been freezing for months, and the ice and frozen snow 
in the broken trenches and " over the top " made the trek 
to the jumping-off position a trying and arduous task. A party 
of the battalion had a night or so previously spent time and 
patience in setting a tape to mark the line that was to be taken 
up at the start ; but most of this was lost when the men 
arrived, tired and fed up, at about 11.30 p.m. on the night of 
the 16th. Most of the tape had been blown up by the enemy 
shells, and some trodden out of recognition. 

It was not until the file of men bundled into a line of another 
regiment of the same brigade that the approximate position 
of our starting line was ascertained. 

The Boche was ready for us, for his barrage opened even 
before our own, and before our battalion had passed over our 
own front line — a weak line of scattered shell holes — there 
were great gaps torn in our waves. 

Just over the second enemy line our " waves " became 
groups, and the steady advance appeared to be in artillery 
formation. The officers, many of whom were in an attack for 
the first time, did all they could to put matters right, and some 
of them managed to continue their advance on approximately 
the right bearing and in correct formation. 

Presently the notorious " Boom Ravine " was encountered, 
but we met with no further danger than a lurking German 
here and there who whiled his time away until he should be 
taken prisoner by sniping. After this point the battalion 
appeared to me to vanish, and instead one saw small parties 

* Reprinted from Mufti, the magazine published by the Old 
Comrades' Association of the 22nd Royal Fusiliers, No. 4, Vol. I. 



MIRAUMONT, FEBRUARY 17TH, 1917 391 

here and there moving in varying directions. A Company and 
C appeared to have separated completely. 

Petit Miraumont was sighted at about the same time as a 
party of about a dozen, with an officer of another battalion of 
the same regiment, went wandering across the front. It was 
learnt that he had no idea as to where the remainder of his 
battalion was, or the position they were attacking, so joined 
his small band to that of C Company, and took charge of a 
second wave which was now established. 

Fifty yards further, and the men ran into such a hail of 
bullets that it was impossible to press forward, and the men 
lay down in the shell holes to return the fire of the enemy, who 
were found to be lying about 20 yards away. A few minutes 
later A and C Companies' flank was rolled up by the battalion 
of Germans coming up to the counter-attack. 

Exactly what happened now is a question, but we have 
heard it stated that the Boche only took wounded prisoners on 
this occasion, and probably many a man earned the V.C. out 
there in the one-sided scrap. It would appear that these 
companies were more or less lost. 

Meanwhile a flank action by B and D was favoured with 
some success after some hard fighting. 

The battalion lost practically all its officers, and the casual- 
ties in the ranks were great, while many of the good fellows 
who left Wolf Huts with the battalion on February 16th are 
unfortunately still numbered amongst the missing, and over 
eighty names were recorded on the imposing cross the battalion 
pioneers made as a memorial to the heroic dead. 

Later in the morning some of A Company's men were found 
among the survivors of D, on the opposite flank, and Mr. 
Seaward, Fred Palmer and Jimmy Carr and their gallant 
men were making the best of things in waterlogged shell 
holes, hardly daring to raise their heads because of the 
sniping. 

Freddy Palmer's exploit has become historic. How he held 
the flank — a vital position — against repeated attacks by 
superior numbers and only gave way when his supply of 
ammunition ran out, only to make his way back to B.H.Q. for 
more bombs and men and regaining the strategic line, has 
become famous, and, as the War Office said, " it was a deed of 
heroism which cannot be exaggerated." Jimmy Carr (who 
died in the 'flu epidemic after the Armistice) gained the 



392 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

D.C.M. and a commission, and decorations were bestowed on 
others of the little band. 

It was the first time the 22nd had lost prisoners to the 
enemy, but the battalion had the satisfaction of knowing that 
the stand they made at such great odds saved the situation, 
and was crowned with the great Boche retreat two or three 
days later and the capture of Bapaume. 



THE 2oth BATTALION VISIT THE COAST* 

1917 

For days past, nay for weeks past, the rumble of the guns 
in the north had foreshadowed that there was to be trouble for 
the Hun before long ; the official communiques in the daily 
papers spoke continuously of heavy bombardment in that 
neighbourhood, so that when on July 29th we heard that we 
were to leave Airaines, where we had spent a very pleasant few 
weeks in rest billets, conjecture ran wild as to what was to be 
our destination. We were not long left in doubt, and learnt 
that we were off to Dunkerque. Dunkerque — why ? Perhaps 
we were off to England, not likely. What could be afoot ? 

We busily packed up on July 30th, and on July 31st we 
marched to Pontremy, leaving Airaines at 07.00. At 11.35 
hours we entrained for the coast. No sooner had we entrained 
than down came the rain, and it rained persistently for the rest 
of the day, and for several days following — a striking contrast 
to the weather of the past weeks, which had been magnificent. 
It was, indeed, unfortunate, as we afterwards learnt, that the 
opening of the great fight for the Paschendaele Ridge should 
have been so visited with such an upheaval of weather 
conditions. 

Our journey to Dunkerque was only marked with one 
incident which is worthy of record. I have forgotten the 
name of the place, but as the train was proceeding past a small 
village in Belgium two tremendous explosions occurred, and 
the carriage windows rattled. We jumped up and seized rifles 
and revolvers, thinking that the train was being bombed ; 
on closer examination we found that it was merely some 
Belgian engineers employed in blasting stone. They did not 
seem to mind that the stones in some quantity entered the 
carriages of the train. 

We reached Dunkerque at 21.00, and had the failing day- 
light to assist us in detraining ; that is to say, the men were off 
quick enough, but the transport had to be offloaded. In spite 

* By an Officer of the Battalion. 



394 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

of the dilatoriness and language of the Belgian officials, how- 
ever, this was fairly quickly accomplished, and the transport 
set off in the pouring rain for the seaside resort known as 
Bray Dunes, a six-hour trek. The battalion did not march ; 
they were conveyed by barges up the canal ; the men found 
the barges comfortable, and, as these did not leave their 
moorings till daylight, all on board had time to get to sleep 
before the movement of the ships could affect their slumbers ! 
The transport got into Bray Dunes eventually at 04.30 on 
August 1st, but what a long trek it had seemed ! Men, animals 
and everything were wet through. The battalion marched 
into the village about noon. Here were comfortable billets for 
officers and men, and we hoped to be allowed a day or two to 
enjoy them. At this time there was a considerable amount of 
hush-hush, and we did not know how or when we were to be 
employed. Whether the change in climatic conditions had 
impeded the British offensive, or whether the plans of the high 
command were for other reasons altered, we knew not, nor were 
we disposed to inquire, the fact being that we remained in 
Bray Dunes until August 15th and then spent twelve days in 
the Nieuport sector of the line, the two periods, namely, 
August 1st — 15th and 16th — 27th, firmly impressing them- 
selves on the minds of all those who live to remember them as 
presenting the veriest contrast of pleasantness and unplea- 
santness. 

Bray Dunes, as most readers will know, is a little seaside 
town somewhat resembling Deal or Sandwich, but typically 
Belgian. There is the esplanade, which extends for 100 yards 
or so, with an hotel or two and some nice houses, but the greater 
part of the village stands back inland, and is separated from 
the sea by the sand dunes. The inhabitants were still in 
occupation, though the hotels and houses on the sea-shore had 
not their pre-war usage and were occupied mostly by military 
staffs. 

The sand dunes had been placed in a state of defence, with 
trenches dug and much barbed wire erected. Batteries were 
here and there, and there was an elaborate defence scheme, 
which we all had to study and know, so that in case of emergency 
each man knew his appointed task. There is a gorgeous 
stretch of sand, which reaches eastward as far as La Panne 
and westward a considerable distance towards Dunkerque. 
This stretch of sand provided a most excellent training ground, 



TWENTIETH BATTALION AT THE COAST 395 

and when the weather during the second week of our stay 
there improved, the men used to parade there each morning, 
carry out manoeuvres, drill, rifle and bombing practice, and 
then take a bath before marching back to dinners. The after- 
noons were spent in recreation, and here again the sand proved 
a very useful playground. The officers indulged in a good 
deal of riding, and races on the sand amongst the officers in 
the brigade on their respective chargers were a great form of 
amusement, the only restriction being that riding was not 
allowed on that part of the sands which passed the esplanade, 
where was situated the corps headquarters. Our transport 
officer, Jones Williams, had a very fast mare, a grey, who won 
him many races and, I fancy, small wagers, though, if he wanted 
to be more certain of his money, he would get some one of less 
bulky build and correspondingly lighter weight to pilot her. 
We had an officers' riding class, and representations were made 
that the chargers were being overworked, so the class took place 
on mules. I should be sorry to relate the number of times that 
certain officers were unseated in this escapade, and riderless 
mules were seen very frequently making their way home. 
Later the officers became more expert in their methods of 
sitting on, but a mule's mouth is sometimes hard, and the class 
dispersed itself one day not at the command of the officer in 
charge, not at the wish of the students, but because the mules 
thought they'd like to go off on their own. 

Leave was granted to a percentage of officers and men to 
visit La Panne and Dunkerque. The former was the more 
attractive place, and incidentally more healthy. There were a 
number of aerodromes about, and we saw a lot of one particular 
squadron, playing them twice at cricket and interchanging 
dinners. They had a most excellent concert troupe, and gave us 
a splendid show. Unfortunately neither my memory nor my 
notes supply the number of the squadron the officers of which 
so kindly entertained us. 

This passed the time at Bray Dunes, and we left it with very 
pleasant memories, the only fly in the ointment being the 
extraordinary number of persistent and irritating flies which 
swarmed around us in billets in their varying degree of size. 

In the small hours of the morning on August 15th, and 
whilst it was still dark, we got ourselves up and paraded ready 
to march, and just as dawn was breaking we proceeded on our 
way. It was a gorgeous morning, and we saw our flying fellows 



396 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

set forth on their daybreak reconnaissances, and caught occa- 
sional glimpses of the Hun trying to have a look-see, but driven 
off by the numberless little puffs of our Archie shells. 

We proceeded to a camp — at Oost Dunkerque it must have 
been — until the minor offensive in this region by the Boche in 
July, the last thing in comfort in the way of camps, every hut 
being lavishly fitted with electric light, and wire beds and 
bunks for almost every man ; tables and comfortable arm- 
chairs adorned the officers' quarters. History relates that 
before the offensive the camp had been occupied by a battery 
of our allies' artillery for some months, and that during these 
months only one gun of that battery had been known to fire, 
and that only occasionally. In the afternoon of the 15th we 
learnt that we were to go into the Nieuport sector of the line 
the next night, and that therefore reconnaissance must be 
made by officers that afternoon ; it was also stated that the 
commanding officer would not on this occasion take the bat- 
talion in, but would be given a rest. This was only in accord- 
ance with custom, the second in command at times taking the 
battalion, the idea being that it was not desirable that both 
the commanding officer and the second in command should 
be up the line at the same time. Away, then, we went to recon- 
noitre, and to see our opposite numbers, so to speak, from whom 
we should take over. We rode to the outskirts of Nieuport, 
and then proceeded on foot. 

Nieuport is a largish town, which had recently suffered 
considerably from bombardment. Though the streets were 
quite intact, they contained a good deal of dibris, and covered- 
in " ways " had been made along the sides of the streets ; in 
almost every case these " ways " had been dug for a few feet, 
so that one was, so to speak, half above and half below ground 
level. Everywhere there were gas gongs and rattles, for only 
recently had the town received a goodly libation of the Huns' 
new mustard gas, and in various parts of the town the smell 
of this gas was still fairly potent. The brigade headquarters 
was situated in a cellar in a street in the town, and having 
reported there, we proceeded to the headquarters of the 
battalion which we were to relieve. To achieve this it was 
necessary to cross the main canal ; in fact, the headquarters 
of three battalions, that is to say two front line battalions and 
the support battalion, were all on the other side of the canal. 
It was the right front line battalion we were seeking. Now 



TWENTIETH BATTALION AT THE COAST 397 

the canal could be crossed in one of three places, by one of 
three bridges, and these bridges were merely wooden structures 
which the Hun had got taped. He used to amuse himself by 
knocking them down by day, and our engineers were busily 
employed repairing them by night. Two of the bridges were 
intact on the afternoon in question, and we made our recon- 
naissance, saw the people whom we were to relieve, and who 
incidentally expressed themselves as devoutly thankful that 
we were coming to relieve them, and made our way back to the 
battalion without incident, excepting for the fact that we had 
to return by a roundabout route, as the Hun had selected 
part of our proper road for his afternoon target shoot. Before 
proceeding further I think I should explain, for the benefit of 
those who do not know this part of the British front, that the 
left front line battalion headquarters and the whole of the 
support battalion (including, of course, its headquarters) 
were across the main canal, and on what is known as the 
" Redan." The Redan is a triangular island almost entirely 
surrounded by water, the main canal on the one side, the 
base of the triangle, and offshoots thereof on the other 
two sides, so that first one had to cross water to get to the 
Redan and then cross water again to get off to the country 
beyond, where lay the trenches. In the middle of the Redan 
lies a building known as the India-rubber House, so called 
because of its imperviousness to shells. This house had two 
storeys with a gabled roof, the roof was concrete, about 2 to 
3 feet thick, the walls were of a similar thickness, and the 
flooring dividing the two storeys was also of solid concrete, 
about 2 feet thick. The building was about 80 to 100 feet long , 
with a door either end. Incidentally the Hun seemed to know 
where these two doors were ! The house was cubicled off into 
little partitions downstairs, and there was a large mess-room, 
and upstairs were quarters for the staff of the two battalion 
headquarters which occupied the building. The whole was 
beautifully lit up with electric light ; in fact, it was some head- 
quarters ! 

I have attached to these few notes an aeroplane photograph 
taken whilst we were in the line, which, if it can be reproduced, 
will give the reader a good idea of this section of the line. I 
should add that there was one other means of getting to the 
trenches from Nieuport without going on to the Redan, and 
that was by way of a lock to the north-east side of the town, but 



398 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

this way was a very unhealthy way, and not really advisable 
by day, and the use of it was discouraged. 

It was a grand evening on the 16th, when we set out for the 
line, and the relief was accomplished with only a single casualty, 
which was fortunate, seeing that the Hun elected to shell the 
bridges just as we were coming in, and one bridge was put out 
of action. No sooner were we in than he indulged in an hour's 
gas-shelling, which performance was not much appreciated 
by the unfortunate fellows who were going out. In the early 
morning, too, he exercised a little hate, and heavily bom- 
barded our front line for about half an hour at dawn ; he was 
certainly uneasy in his mind as to our intentions. The ground 
in this part of the country is, as everyone knows, extraordinarily 
wet, and the trench line was really a series of broken-down 
breastworks ; they had in the past apparently been extremely 
comfortable, for there was evidence that all the dug-outs had 
been lit up with electric light ; in the past they may have been 
the acme of comfort : they certainly were not so now. The 
approach to the trenches was over the open, and consequently 
visiting was not encouraged by day for obvious reasons, and 
more especially in order that the position of our posts should 
not be given away. That first morning's bombardment cost 
us a dozen casualties, for unhappily a direct hit was made on 
one of the shelters. 

The 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers were on our left, with their 
headquarters in the India-rubber House, and the 5th Scottish 
Rifles were in support, also with their headquarters in that 
mansion. The Hun continued to be peculiarly active with his 
artillery in the morning and evening, but he certainly got plenty 
back from our gunners. 

Our patrols were busy at night, but were generally held up 
by water. This was especially so upon one occasion when we 
endeavoured to snaffle a Boche post to obtain identifications. 
The Hun tried the game on one night with us, but before he 
could reach our posts he was spotted and cleared off. 

On the night of the 21st we changed places with the 5th 
Scottish Rifles, and went into support, our headquarters being 
in the India-rubber Mansion. 

The next night was full of interest for us, though we were not 
directly concerned. As will have been gathered, we were 
sharing the india-rubber place with the headquarters staff of 
the left front line battalion, the 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 



TWENTIETH BATTALION AT THE COAST 399 

who were being relieved by the Cameronians. During this 
relief the Hun successfully raided one of the left battalion posts 
in the Geleide Flood. The relief was consequently much 
delayed, but was eventually completed in the small hours. 
Plans were at once set afoot for revenge, and raids were 
prepared by the Cameronians and ourselves. The Camero- 
nians were to do their show on the night of the 24th, and we 
were to go back on the 25th and do ours. On the night of the 
24th we were all up all night. The Cameronians did their show, 
captured the Boche posts and with them a machine gun and 
nine prisoners, all of whom we had the pleasure of seeing at 
headquarters, one of them being closely interrogated for 
information. On the 25th it was decided that our show had 
better be postponed twenty-four hours. We were rather dis- 
appointed, as all was in readiness, and we were satisfied that 
every detail had been arranged. As it turned out that show 
never came off, because on the night of the 25th the Hun put 
in a very heavy counter-attack on the left battalion, which 
was to a certain degree successful, and we had to send one 
company — as a matter of fact, the very company which was 
to do our raid— to reinforce the left company of the left 
battalion, the company commander of which had been killed. 
As may be imagined, the night of August 25th was pretty 
much disturbed and full of interest, but the line in front was 
straightened out before dawn, and on the night of the 26th 
our company, which had proceeded in support, were relieved. 
All chance of our show coming off finally vanished when on 
the 26th we heard that on the 27th the brigade were to be 
relieved, and on the 27th the 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment 
came and took over from us. 

One cannot finish the history of the episode without referring 
to the day of the 26th, when the headquarters of the brigade 
and those of all the battalions were at different times during 
the day closed, the occupants being compelled to move else- 
where. This was brought about by the Hun, who amused 
himself throughout that day by shelling with 15-inch shells. 
He seemed to attack all the headquarters in turn and give them 
a few rounds. He actually hit the brigade headquarters in 
Nieuport, and landed two sufficiently close to the India-rubber 
House to rock that building, crack one of the concrete walls, 
and extinguish the electric light. 

By 3 a.m. on the 28th the relief was complete and we were on 



400 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

our way out. We had been in a good many parts of the line, 
but it was generally agreed that this particular tour was to be 
remembered as one of the most unpleasant ; we had sustained 
a good number of casualties, and the Hun artillery had been 
very active with shell of every calibre and with plenty of 
gas shell. Our consolation, however, was that our guns were 
very active, too, and the best feature was the weather, which 
was on the whole good. 

We marched back to Oost Dunkerque for a few hours and 
then proceeded to La Panne, where we had good billets, baths 
and a change of clothes. The officers indulged in a good dinner 
that night at the Terlinck. 

On the 30th and 31st we travelled by 'buses to Petit Synthe 
and Houlle Moolle respectively. At the latter place we were 
to be for a short time whilst the division were in rest. 



BOURLON WOOD AND AFTER* 
By W. J. Phythian Adams 

A connected account of our movements at Moeuvres and 
Bourlon Wood would require a war diary and the whole O.R. 
staff, and these are not accessible in Jerusalem, but I give, for 
what it is worth, a sketch of that very trying ordeal, through 
which the battalion passed so triumphantly, and I give it, as I 
must, from the point of view of battalion headquarters. 

We had barely got over the cramping day in the train from 
Herzeele and the still more tiring march afterwards when we 
got orders from the brigade to move into the line opposite 
Mceuvres and relieve the Irish. The blizzard which escorted 
us that night will not be forgotten by those who had to face it. 
It was a fit begining for a week of battle. 

We were not to rest, however, for things in the wood had 
been going badly. An urgent message to H.Q. brought us 
stumbling through the dark to a brief interview with General 
Kellett, a hand-shake and another half-hour of stumbling to the 
quarters of a new brigade. There in a few words General 
Bradford outlined the situation. His men were exhausted and 
were being withdrawn, and only two dismounted cavalry 
*' battalions " remained to garrison the position. 

My orders were to proceed at once to the wood, leaving the 
battalions to follow at full speed, and to represent to the 
battalion commanders on the spot the need of attacking and 
capturing Bourlon village by dawn. Back again to H.Q. 
company commanders' conference, a bite, and a much-needed 
drink, and off to Bourlon Wood. How the battalion got 
through that night I only know from what 1 saw and heard 
afterwards. All honour to those who triumphed over every 
difficulty ! 

Hardly were we out of the shrapnel which fell impartially on 
the unjust and just (and perhaps more on H.Q. than anywhere 
else !) than the real battle began, and with it the most bewil- 
dering sequence of operations that we ever had in France. 

* Reprinted from Mufti, published by the Old Comrades' Associa- 
tion of the 22nd Royal Fusiliers. 

F. D D 



402 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

We had never rejoined the 99th Brigade, and now for two or 
three days passed from the 5th to the 6th. just as we moved 
from one battle station to another. To add to the general 
confusion, " detached " parties from other corps picketed 
themselves happily in our lines, and at one time two companies 
of another battalion of our division were lent to us in the event 
of an enemy attack. 

From the point of view of the 22nd the situation was not an 
amiable one. Our " front line," as we finally took it up, 
was really an enormous sap, sucking out to the German 
redoubts, without an inch of wire on either side, a bad enough 
position even without the danger which threatened both our 
flanks. We knew only too well that things were decidedly 
groggy, and we had to face the prospect of a strenuous rear- 
guard action. 

The decision to blunt the salient's nose came as a welcome 
surprise. The orders were to keep the move a secret even from 
company commanders, who were to be informed that a relief, 
and not a retirement, was to take place that night. Only the 
rearguard commander was to know the real facts, and he had 
to, as it was his business to blow up the dug-outs behind him. 

The 22nd may congratulate themselves on the way they 
carried out the movement, and I do not think the enemy found 
much material at their disposal. My only regret — and it was 
a deep one — was that so much of the gallant labour of our 
tump line brigade had been unavoidably wasted. The whole 
division throughout the battle owed very much to their efforts, 
and during the more critical moments it was a blessed relief 
to feel that we. had more stuff in our hands than the Huns 
could afford to swallow. 

This was a fight in which the 22nd, to their lasting regret., 
were forced to play the " ever ready " role without the chance 
of first-class " scrapping " which fell to the lot of the 17th 
Royal Fusiliers, who took our place in the line and in our own 
brigade. 

At Mceuvres our part was not a minor one : we had the 
hardest task of any, to manoeuvre under another command 
after days of shelling and fatigue from which our comrades 
were exempt, to move here or there wherever we were most 
wanted, and finally, when endurance seemed no longer possible, 
to enter the front line and at the eleventh hour to come to 
grips with the enemy. 



LIFE IN THE LINES (FEBRUARY TO 
MARCH, 1918) * 

The Big Gas Shelling 

We were now settled down in the front line (Highland Ridge). 
Imagine the battalion therefore quite untrained, with officers 
and men strange to one another, awaiting the much-talked-of 
great German offensive. 

The back areas were full of rumours and false alarms. In 
the trenches matters were viewed with stolid indifference. 

The men had to work day and night. Double sentries were 
posted in every conceivable spot, even though our position was 
on a hill, and one or two sentries could see the whole expanse 
of country for miles around. 

The Germans were not nearer than 800 yards, except at 
certain points. 

One day was much like another till the night of the great 
gas barrage. In the first week in March about 7 p.m. it com- 
menced. 

Shells poured overhead, landing in the support lines and 
battery position. Every enemy gun must have been at work. 

From 7 p.m. till 4 a.m. there was a continuous whistle of 
shells passing overhead. They burst with a very slight 
explosion. 

The wind was from behind us, and the gas drifted back our 
way. The men put on their gas helmets and wore them for four 
or five hours. Almost suffocated and quite exhausted, they 
took them off, and sooner or later as the fumes rose from the 
ground in the valleys they collapsed. 

The gas barrage commenced again on the next night — the 
night on which we were to come out of the line. Again it was 
very intense. 

I telephoned to the brigade headquarters, which were behind 
the gas barrage, and asked if it was advisable to bring the 
battalion through it. 

* By a Commanding Officer. 

D D 2 



404 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

The reply was in the affirmative. 

This relief night will never be forgotten by any one who took 
part in it. 

One barrage was falling on the support line, but the greater 
one was on the roads behind brigade headquarters. We passed 
through the first one and dodged the splinters by dropping 
down in the trenches, which gave us protection. 

Then out on to the open road, platoons ioo yards apart. 

A dark night, in front of us a heavy barrage of gas shells 
falling thickly over the open country. The air was impregnated 
with fumes, and the fog caused by the explosives made the 
night even darker. 

We wore our gas masks. After half a mile walk we were 
bathed in perspiration. Carrying one's equipment with one's 
head encased in a stifling gas helmet is a fatiguing proceeding. 

The military police had prevented our horses coming to 
meet us owing to the heavy shelling. 

The road was rough and full of shell holes. Men fell into 
them. 

Literally thousands of shells were falling on each side of the 
track. 

Still actual casualties were slight. 

Some got burned on the arms and neck by being splashed by 
the contents of the shells. 

There was nothing for it but to plod on, too exhausted and 
overladen to hurry. It was the weirdest experience walking 
through that shower of missiles, but not nearly so terrifying 
as going through a high explosive barrage. 

At intervals our own guns opened fire en masse on the 
enemy. 

As we were just passing through the gun positions we got 
the full benefit of their terrific noise. 

At last we get clear of the barrage, and at the foot of the 
hill below the ruined village we climb on board our train. 

The train (so called) consists of a few open trucks. We wait 
impatiently for it to start. A few minutes ago we were bathed 
in sweat with our exertions. Now the frosty air of early 
morning bids fair to give us chills and rheumatism. 

The train takes us to rest camp five miles distant. The 
men are all much the worse for gas. Coughs and sore eyes are 
the chief results, developing later to loss of voice. 

On arrival about 3 a.m. we find a message to say that the 



BEFORE THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE, 1918 405 

battalion must furnish a digging party at 8 a.m. up in the 
reserve line in the area where the gas barrage had been thickest 
and the ground reeked of the fumes. 

One hundred and fifty men are required. They are not fit 
for it, but the brigade are obdurate, and they have to march 
five weary miles back again, do eight hours' hard work and 
return home on foot in the evening. 

They dug a trench which was never used in any operations. 

Before 10 a.m. the divisional general visits us. He shows 
a certain amount of sympathy with the men for their suffer- 
ings. By this time hardly an officer or man could speak 
above a whisper. 

At midnight on the day (March 20th) of our return to the 
front line 100 boys from England join us. They have been 
travelling for three days in trucks, and arrive dirty and sleep- 
less. They know nothing of war and have never previously 
seen a trench. 

The First Day 

When the big offensive opened we occupied the front seats 
of the stalls. It had the advantage that one was able to see 
the. performance clearly, and the usual disadvantage that one 
was deafened by the noise of the orchestra and was further 
from the exit. 

It began about 4 a.m., and it was composed of high explosive 
mingled with trench mortars. The latter fired with incredible 
rapidity. Imagine a drummer beating a roll on his side drum 
just over your head, multiply the noise ten thousandfold, and 
that was what seemed to be going on, on the roof of our 
pill-box. 

The overture to the great offensive has started. The question 
is, on which flank are the enemy going to attack ? 

I settle down by the 'phone and anxiously ring up A Com- 
pany, on my right. Luckily the wire is not yet cut. A Company 
say things are pretty quiet in their sector. " Just flinging over 
a bit of heavy stuff now and then," says their captain, " nothing 
to worry about." 

D Company, in the centre, ring up and report a curious cloud 
of smoke drifting towards them. No, it is not the smoke of 
the guns ; it is some device of the Germans. Soon we are 
enveloped in the density of a London fog, which brings tears to 



406 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

the eyes. B, on the left, report that the enemy are coming 
and have got into the next battalion's trenches. 

Now we are entitled to send up the S.O.S. Up goes the 
rocket ; no one sees it owing to the smoke. Off goes a pigeon, 
apparently in the direction of the German lines. The sig- 
nallers send the message on the power buzzer, as the wires are 
broken. Runners take the message through the barrage. One 
hates ordering them to do it. Mercifully they get through. 
Anxiously we await the result. At last our guns open ; shells 
drop all along in front of our front line — they ought to take 
heavy toll of any advancing Germans — the fog prevents us 
from seeing ; the wire to brigade is cut ; we are isolated. Thank 
Heaven, the company wires still hold. Reports come in con- 
tinually from right, left and centre. 

The noise of the two bombardments becomes louder and 
louder. The whole earth seems to shake with concussion. 
I can stand it no longer ; I leave the pill-box and dive down to 
the depth of the dug-out. 

My left-hand post has withdrawn ; it was no longer tenable 
when the battalion on my left gave way. The captain of my 
left company (Captain K. Hawkins, M.C.) is missing ; he is 
killed. His body is found at the entrance of his headquarters. 
A gallant, fearless fellow, he thought nothing of going out in 
the midst of the barrage. His only other officer is away on 
the extreme left. The captain's servant takes charge, makes 
the men put on their respirators, and sends in intelligent 
reports on the 'phone to me. Truly the private soldier is a 
marvel. The left is badly threatened. I must prepare a 
counter-attack. I ask my support company commander 
(Captain J. Forster, M.C.) to come round and see me when 
there is a lull. 

It is essential to have him at headquarters in case the wires 
break. He is another of those wonderful fellows who don't 
seem to know what fear is. He does not wait. He comes up 
straight through the barrage. He is buried twice. An HE. 
shell lifts a pile of duck-boards and throws them at him, but 
he gets through. Though badly shaken, he soon recovers, and 
we arrange our plans for a counter-attack. 

Officers and men from the battalion on our left come running 
into our trench. They have had a terrible doing ; they don't 
know how they got here ; their speech is inarticulate from 
fright. The less terrified tell me of abandoned trenches and 



MARCH 21ST, 1918 407 

hordes of advancing Germans. Our left is in the air. We put 
piles of sandbags in each of our trenches to form blocks. We 
mount Lewis guns to cover our left, and open rapid fire on the 
enemy. 

A messenger goes back to ask if the support battalion will 
come up and counter-attack. It seems madness to leave the 
Germans in possession of these trenches, and our flank exposed. 
Through it all that marvellous man, the mess cook, is at work. 
With a Primus stove in the passage, he produces the most 
perfect eggs and bacon and the most refreshing tea. And the 
sergeant-major, quite unperturbed, makes out his complicated 
returns. 

Now the brigade on our right have let the Germans into their 
front line, and the garrison come rushing along our trench. 
I order my company commander to re-organise them and 
retake the lost ground. He is a stout fellow, and soon has 
despatched his bombing party, and his little enterprise is 
crowned with success. 

At last there is a lull. One can go out and see the damage — 
blown-in trenches, duck-boards smashed to atoms, and, alas ! 
many a good man who will never fire a rifle again. The 
doctor is hard at work — the wounded are being dressed and 
sent down to the field ambulance. 

The smoke cloud drifts away, the sun shines brilliantly, and 
the gas respirators are removed and the gas curtains pulled up. 
The strain has been great ; for the past four hours every one 
has been working at high pressure, one officer at the tele- 
phone, one writing down all the messages, and another keeping 
a time-table of all that takes place. While the sentries remain 
on the fire step, the remainder of each section waits near the 
dug-out entrance ready to rush out with fixed bayonet as 
soon as required. 

We feel pleased with ourselves. We have held our ground. 

The Second Day 

The second day was a peaceful one comparatively. It was 
essentially an unsatisfactory day. 

About 1.30 a.m. an order came that we were to evacuate our 
trenches and fall back to the support line. We were to be 
clear of our front line by 3 a.m. There was no transport of 
any description ; we could only take away what we could carry 



4 o8 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

ourselves. Heavy trench mortars must be blown up ; a pile 
of gas cylinders must be destroyed. These had been specially 
brought up to the front line on the previous night. 

Now one must devise the best method of evacuation. One 
remembered what one had read of the Dardanelles. One 
wondered whether the enemy would suspect and open heavy 
fire on us, whether the division on our flank would retire 
before us, and, above all, why this retirement had been 
ordered for no apparent reason. 

We regretted leaving our excellent dug-out and comfortable 
mess. It was but little satisfaction to see the subalterns 
smash up the chairs and tables and do their best to render it 
uninhabitable for the Germans. 

3 a.m., and we filed slowly for the last time down the long 
duck-boards track to the support line. Luckily we were 
unmolested by the enemy. 

After daylight it was most interesting to watch the advance 
of the enemy over our late front line. It was unmethodical in 
appearance, but at the same time undoubtedly sound. Small 
disconnected groups of men appeared here and there moving 
steadily forward. An aeroplane flying at a height of about 
150 feet patrolled over our lines. It noted our dispositions, 
and, I should think, must have counted every man. In vain did 
our Lewis gunners empty their magazines at it. In vain did 
we telephone to brigade and ask the general if he could induce 
some of our planes to come up and tackle it. Not a sign of a 
British plane in the sky, not a shot from an Archie. 

Behind the infantry patrols, who were now swarming all 
over the country, came the German artillery. With marvellous 
rapidity the enemy pushed forward his guns, and with unerring 
accuracy his shells dropped on our new line. Where were our 
guns ? We telephoned to our brigade ; we told them where the 
enemy guns were, and where the infantry patrols were 
advancing, all to no purpose. Scarcely a sound could be 
detected from our own guns. 

It was most depressing to watch the leisurely advance of the 
enemy and to see him practically unmolested. The only time 
he was harassed at all was when he came within range of our 
Lewis guns, whereupon he wisely advanced no further. 

At night the evacuation was once more repeated. We 
retired to a more or less imaginary line of trenches in a wood. 
The trenches were about 2 feet deep, the field of fire was nil, 



MARCH 23RD, 1918 409 

and there were no dug-outs. The men tried to sleep in spite of 
the shells constantly dropping around. The noise of the 
explosions and the firing of our own guns rendered the night 
anything but peaceful. 

We still had no idea as to why and wherefore we had retired. 

The Third Day 

March 23rd, 1918, will always remind me of a bad nightmare. 
Daybreak found us in our inadequate trench in the wood, 
without any cover, with but little water and no means of 
communication with any one. Ammunition was scarce, as we 
had had no transport, and hundreds of boxes in consequence 
had been abandoned in the trenches. 

It was a glorious morning, and we lay and basked in the sun 
among the anemones, waiting for the Germans and waiting 
for orders. At last we saw the rearguard of our brigade falling 
back towards our lines. Our artillery opened on them promptly, 
evidently mistaking them for Germans. The enemy were not 
long in following them up. Over the open came their never- 
ending procession of small patrols. Their field guns, moving 
up with almost uncanny rapidity, commenced to drop shells 
all over our wood. 

Our orderly arrives from brigade, of course just at the 
moment I had started to shave and was looking forward to 
breakfast of a sort. We are to fall back at once to divisional 
reserve at Bus. Two companies are to act as rearguards. 
Company commanders are summoned. Captain Thomas is 
detailed to furnish the rearguard, Forster leads the first two 
companies, and I follow with headquarters. 

Through the wood in single file we wend our way, and out 
on to the wooden track to Neuville. Progress is slow : the day 
is as hot as midsummer ; the men are overloaded. Lewis guns 
and magazines have all to be carried by hand, as there are no 
limbers. Where our transport has gone to no one knows. 

We trek over the open in small columns, one platoon at a 
time. We pass a beautiful new German aeroplane, which has 
been forced to land at the edge of the wood. No one has 
attempted to destroy it ; it is thoughtfully left for the enemy 
to recover it. 

Every one except the infantry seems to have fled, not an 
engineer to be seen, not an attempt to place obstacles in the 
enemy's way or to blow up the few roads by which his guns can 



410 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

advance, not a machine gun to check his progress. As we 
slowly move along we wonder when the first shell will land 
amongst us, or whether we shall just get away in time. 

We feel painfully visible. We reach Neuville, a deserted 
ruin, and as we look back we see our rearguard are coming over 
the open. The enemy has opened fire on them, and, with his 
usual accuracy, he is dropping shells right amongst them. It 
is marvellous how few casualties they suffer, and it is marvellous 
to watch those undaunted men, the regimental stretcher- 
bearers, attending to the wounded and slowly carrying their 
helpless burdens through a regular storm of shells. No class 
of men deserve greater admiration. 

The canteens in Neuville are deserted, and the men wisely 
fill their pockets with chocolate and cigars ; better than leaving 
them to the enemy. The darkest cloud has a silver lining ! 

Crumps are falling on our left and pretty close to the road. 
We hope he won't change his target. Thank Heaven, the two 
companies are clear of the village at last. 

We hear that a shell wiped out a neighbouring brigade 
staff on that very road just half an hour before we arrived. 
We've had luck so far. We don't linger near the spot. From 
every village a huge column of smoke is ascending to heaven. 
These are the dumps being destroyed, the piles of stores that 
could not be carried away — at least a portion of them, for the 
whole country is littered with material. 

The brigadier and Staff are by the roadside. They are super- 
vising two of our battalions who are taking up a new line of 
indifferent-looking trenches. We are to go on another mile 
and remain in reserve at L .* 

It is hot as midsummer, and the men are heavily laden and 
begin to straggle. 

L is a small ruined village with a camp of huts on the 

east side. As we draw near we see it is being heavily crumped. 
Some of our guns have halted there. The German aeroplane 
flying very low, and as usual unmolested, has spotted them, 
and the enemy heavy artillery is landing shells amongst them 
with wonderful accuracy, and his aeroplane is bombing them. 

It is one of those moments in which it is so difficult to know 
how to act, whether to remain in the open or to try and get 
into the huts in spite of the shelling and at all events lie hidden 

* Lechelle. 



MARCH 23RD, 1918 411 

from view. The huts will keep out splinters and perhaps 
shrapnel. 

I decide on the latter, as I fear we shall be spotted if we 
remain in the open, and the guns turned on to us. 

Slowly platoon by platoon the battalion reaches the huts. 
One feels so utterly helpless. One can do nothing by way of 
retaliation ; one just walks along dazed by the noise and prays 
that the next shell will not be any nearer than the last. We 
gain the huts, and lie flat in them ; it is the only hope. Terri- 
fying as these high explosives are, the actual damage is only 
very local. A huge shell — 10-inch, judging by the base plate — 
lands and explodes 30 yards from our hut, and with the excep- 
tion of one splinter, which makes a hole in the roof, no damage 
is caused except a huge crater in the grass. 

Stragglers from all units join us. My artillery officer and 
his telephonists are still with me, but there is no telephone 
wire, and no one knows where the guns are. A machine-gun 
officer with one gun, five men and two belt boxes arrives ; we 
are becoming a mixed commando. 

All over the open grass country parties of men are wandering, 
all going towards the west. Why they are retiring they know 
not. It begins to look like a panic, and one wonders how the 
battalions will ever be collected again. Even the motor 
machine guns fall back. The prospect looks more and more 
grim. 

We send off a report to brigade, and in the report I call 
attention to the fact that we have no water, no reserve of ammu- 
nition, no rations, and no ambulance. 

We find some rations in the huts, luckily. Our major is 
suffering from shell shock ; there is not an ambulance within a 
mile ; two other officers are missing. There are only seven 
officers left. The rest of our brigade are a mile to the east of 
us. To the south are supposed to be the N. Division. Their 
C.R.E. rides past and tells us that there is a big gap in the 
line. The N. Division are not in their place. His information 
proves correct, as very soon the Germans are seen advancing 
from the south round our right flank. We are in an impossible 
place — a hollow with no field of fire. 

There is no reserve of ammunition. Our mobile reserve is 
with the transport, fifteen miles away. The mobile reserve is 
carried about by regiments for miles and miles ; it seems almost 
sacred, a sort of household god which must be most carefully 



412 ROYAL FUSILIERS IN THE GREAT WAR 

guarded and never made use of. At this moment it would 
have been invaluable to us. 

We have no means of communication by signal or by 
telephone. 

To fall back towards " R," on to the higher ground .seemed 
the only course. No sooner had the companies collected their 
men and were about to start over the open from various points 
than the Germans started to shell us from the south. It was 
too late to alter one's plans : the companies were already in 
open formation, crossing the open. The next few minutes 
were among the worst in our experience. It had been bad 
enough in the morning lying flat in the huts while shells 
dropped within a few yards. It was infinitely worse walking 
slowly over the grassy plain while black shrapnel burst 
overhead and high explosive made great craters in the ground. 
In addition the enemy machine guns had been brought up, 
and bullets were beginning to fly pretty thickly. One just 
walked on with a feeling of utter helplessness. 

At last we were through the barrage, but very scattered. 
We collected all the men we could, and, standing on the road, 
Forster blew his hunting horn, and the stragglers came limping 
in from all directions as they heard the familiar sound. 



INDEX 



Abbecourt, 245 

Ablainzeville, 289 

Abwein, 27 

Acheville, 324 

Achi Baba, 93 

Achi Baba peak, 88 

Achiet le Grand, 245, 291, 297 — 

298 
Aerodrome Trench, 289 
Africa, East, fighting in, 22, 269 — 

280 
Africa, South, troops from, for 

East Africa, 271 
Aisne, the, 46, 48, 49 
Alaunia, S.S., 86, 87 
Albert, 116 — 117, 231, 249 — 250, 

291 
Albert-Bapaume road, 135 
Albert-Meaulte road, 292 
Aldershot, 9, 22, 24 
Alexandria, 87, 105, 108, 261 ; 

Jews of, 25 — 26 
Aley, Captain, diary quoted, 115; 

wounded, 118 
Allen, Acting-Sergeant W., D.C.M., 

67, 76, 196 
Allenby, General, inspection of 

Jewish battalions, 27 ; and the 

4th Batt., 75 
" Alma " day on the Aisne, 48 
Alpine Corps, the, 305, 307 — 308 
America, South, recruits from, 8 
American Expeditionary Force, 

8 ; infantry in Russia, 23 ; 

Kemmel Hill, 295 
Amiens, 34 ; the withdrawal 

towards, 250 — 252 ; battle of, 

284—288 
Amphlett, Captain, 97 — 98 
Anafarta Sagir, 102 
Anchor Sap, 221 
Ancre, 18, 109, no, 135 ; battle of 

the, 144 — 151 ; German cross- 
ing, 249 ; British crossing, 289 

—291, 302 
Anderson, Captain, 131, 133 
Andregnies-Witheries road, 335 — 

336 
Andrews, 100 



Annesley, Lieut. -Col., 9, 82 ; 

D.S.O., 83 note ; at Ovillers, 

116 — 117 
Anstice, Lieut., 87 ; killed, 95 
Anzac Mounted Division, 27 
Archangel, 23 

Ardagh, Lieut. -Col., 116, 150 
Argentine, Jewish recruits, 26, 

27 
Arleux, 166, 169 

Arleux en Gohelle-Oppy line, 164 
Armentieres, 54 — 58 
Armistice, news of the, 326, 336 
Army of Occupation, 336 
Arnim, Lieut, von, capture of, 37 

—38 
Arras, 158 — 161, 165, 175 ; Ger- 
man attack, March 28th, 252 — 

254 
Arras-Albert railway, 288 
Arras-Cambrai road, 158 — 160, 

173 
Artists' Rifles, the, 225 
Ashburner, Captain, 35, 38 — 41, 

41 note, 47, 53 
Ashstead, 15 
Ashwell, Captain, 303 
Askari, the, 274 
Aston, Lieut. W. V., 136 
Atbara, 104 
Attewell, Captain, 282 
Attwood, Captain, 38 ; killed, 47 
Aubepines, Bois des, 172 
Aubercourt Ridge, 251 
Aubers, 51, 52, 62 
Aubers Ridge, 71 
Auchy le Bois, 249 
Aulnoye, 327 
Aunelle River, 330 — 331 
Australians, the, 27 ; sector of line 

taken over by the Londons, 1 74 ; 

July 29th, 1918...284 
Authuile bridge, 249 
Aveluy, 248 — 249 
Avion, 175 
Avonmouth, 86 
Avre, the, 251 
Ayette, 289 
Ayrton, Captain, 99, 100 



414 



INDEX 



Babceuf, 248 

Bac St. Maur, 54, 71 

Bacquerot, Rue du, 56 

Badges of the Jewish battalions, 
28 

Bailleul, 57 — 58, 163 

Bainbridge, 2nd Lieut., 150 ; 
D.S.O., 224 

Baker, Captain P., 285 — 286 

Baker, Major, command of the 
3rd Batt., 72—74. 79—8o, 265 

Balchin, C.S.M., 292 

Balding, Lieut. A. F., 267 

Baldwin, 1 1 1 

Banhout Bosch, 326 

Banister, 2nd Lieut., 75 

" Bankers' " Battalion (10th), 9 — 
10 

Banteux, 208 

Bapaume, 245 ; battle of, 288 — 
292 

Bapaume-Albert road, 245 

Bapaume-Cambrai road, 218 

Barakli-Djuma, 265 — 266 

Baralle, 312 

Bari, 268 

Barker, Private Robert, 25 

Barking, recruiting in, 24 

Barnes, Major Winnington, com- 
mand of the 4th Batt., 190, 193 

Barnett-Barker, General R., fare- 
well to the 22nd Batt., 18 — 19 ; 
Delville Wood, 124 ; killed, 246 
and note 

Barrett, Captain K. J., 164 — 

165 
Barrier Trench, 208 
Barrow, 2nd Lieut., 82 
Bartlett, Mr. Ashmead, reports, 

100 note 
Barton, Lieut., 46 
Basse Boulogne, 309 
Bassevillebeek, 184, 194, 317 
Bastable, 9th Batt., 117 
Batt, Lieut. -Col. R. C, 8 
Batten, 2nd Lieut. J., V.C., 80 
Battery Valley, 161 
Battle Wood, 179 — 181, 183 
Bavai, 332 
Bavaria, 228 

Bayly, 2nd Lieut. H. A., 180 
Bayonet Trench, 142 — 144 
Bazentin-le-Grand, 119 
Bazentin-le-Petit, 244 
Beatty Post, 253 — 254 
Beaucourt, 146 note, 149, 246 
Beaucourt-sur-Ancre, 144 
Beaufort, Bois de, 331 
Beaugies village, 244 
Beaulencourt, 244 



Beaumont Hamel, 109 — no, 144 

— 146, 249, 289 
Beaurain, 332 
Beaurains, Captain, 250 
Beaurevoir line, 321 
Beazley, Lieut., 46 
Becelaere road, 316 
Beck, Lieut. E. W. T., 84 
Beckett, Private A., 75 
Becordel, 144 
Bedfords, the, at Thiepval, 141 — 

142; Oppy, 170; Babceuf, 

248 ; Bucquoy, 256 ; Amiens, 

284 — 285 ; Bapaume, 291 ; 

Epehy, 308—310; Vendhuile, 

315; Le Cateau, 328; Preux 

au Bois, 334 
Beetle Alley, 114 
Behagnies, 296, 298 — 299 
Behericourt, 248 
Behobeho, 275 — 277 
Bel Aise Farm, 321 
Belica brook, 267 
Bell, Captain, D.S.O., 1st Batt., 

132 
Bell, 2nd Lieut., 20th Batt., 119 
Bellevue Farm, 292 
Bellewarde Ridge, 72 — 74 ; first 

attack on, 74 — 76 
Bellicourt Farm, 308 
Ben Mychree tank, 207 
Benin, 325 
Bennett, Lieut. -Col. C. H., 15, 

119 
Benzecry, Lieut., 217 
Berceaux, Rue des, 67 
Beresford, Lieut.-Col. P. W., 174, 

201 
Berks, the, 81, 153 
Bermeries, 42 

Bernefay Wood, 121, 123, 131 
Bernes, 236 

Berry, Sergeant, 155, 187 
Bertincourt-Velu road, 240 
Bescoby, 2nd Lieut., 180 
Bethcncourt, 321 
Beugnies, forest of, 336 
Beuvry, 77 — 78, 80 
Bevan, 2nd Lieut. H. C, 195 
" Big Willie," 80, 82, 83 
Bihucourt, 245 
Bilhen Chapel, 306 
Billon Wood, 300 
Bindett, 9th Batt., 117 
Birchall, Lieut.-Col. A. P., 68—69 
Bird, Colonel S. G., 13 
Bishop, 2nd Lieut., 203 
Bisley, marksmen of, 14 
Black Alley, 114 
Black Watch, 78 



INDEX 



415 



Black Wood, 292 

Blagny, 161 

Bleaden, Lieut., 116 

Bleak House, 208 

Bleu, 257 

Bliss, Captain, 116 

Blood, General Sir Bindon, 13 

Boag, C.S.M., 234 

Boddy, 2nd Lieut., 85 

Bodmin Copse, 184, 189, 195 

Bois den Haut, 301 

Bois, Rue du, 71 

Bolsheviks, 26 

Bonavis Farm, 208 

Boom Ravine, 154 — 157 

Boon, H. J., 14—15 

Border Regiment, the, Gallipoli, 

101 
Borre, 258 

Borrowdale, Brig. -Gen., 76 
Bott, Captain W. E., 308 
Bouchier, 2nd Lieut., 148 
Bouillancy, 45 
Boult, Lieut. P. T. O., 111 
Bourbon Wood, 313 
Bourlon, 209 — 210, 216 — 219 
Boursies, 303 
Bousies Wood Farm, 329 
Bouzincourt, 129 
Bouzincourt-Aveluy, 249 — 250 
Bo water, Lord Mayor Sir W., 10 
Bowden, Major G. Harland, 14 
Bowden-Smith, Captain, 39 
Bowen, Lieut. R. G. B., 71 
Bower, Captain F. W., 222 
Bowes, 2nd Lieut. S. W., 80 
Boyelles, 293 
Boyton, Lieut. H. J., 71 
Brain, 2nd Lieut., 215 
Braisnes, 49 

Brandenburgers, the, 122 
Brandreth, Major L., Gallipoli, 87, 

89. 92, 97. 99 
Brasher, Lieut., 4th Batt., 164, 

283 
Brawn Trench, 138 
Bray Plage, 182 
Bray Wood, 285 
Bremen Redoubt, 193 — 194 
Brenelle, 46 

Breslau, cruiser, 98 and note 
Bretherton, Stapleton, 59 
Brickland, Lieut. M., 92 
Bright, Sergeant, 148 
Brisby, Sergeant W., 242 
Briseux Wood, 321 
" British Empire Committee 

(The)," 13—14 
Brockworth, Lieut. R. C, 175 — 

176 



Brodie, Lieut., 166 

Broken Mill, 162 

" Brompton Road," 132 

Bronfay Farm, 300 

Broodseinde, battle of, 195 — 196 

Brooke, 2nd Lieut., 119 

Brooking, Captain, 242 

Brown, 9th Batt., 117 

Brown, 2nd Lieut., 2nd Batt., 294 

Brown Support, 233 

Browne, Captain Lathom, 215 

Bruce, Captain, 102 

Brule, Bois, 35 

Buchanan, Captain, 25th Batt., 

278 
Buchanan, Captain Angus, " Three 

Years of War in East Africa," 

275 and note 
Buck, 2nd Lieut. E. M., 172 — 173 
Bucquoy, 254 — 256, 289 
Buffs, the, Bellewarde Ridge, 72 — 

73 ; Loos, 79 — 80 
Buiko, 272 
Bukoba, 269 — 270 
Bulbeck, 100 
Buliin, General, 70 
Bulgarian Army, 263 — 264 
Bull, 2nd Lieut. J. E., 80 
Bulldog Trench, 210 
Bullecourt, 174, 209 — 210, 292 — 

294 
Buluwayo II., tank, 207 
Bund Trench, 114 
Bungay, 9th Batt., 129 
Burch, 2nd Lieut., 12th Batt., 226 
Burch, Sergeant, nth Batt., 187 
Burne, Colonel N. A. K., 25 
Burr, 2nd Lieut., 165 
Burton, 2nd Lieut., 206 
Bus, 239 — 240 
Bus-Lechelle road, 239 
Bus-Rocquigny road, 244 
Bussus, 132 

Butkova, crossing the, 264 — 268 
Butterworth, 2nd Lieut. E. C, 208 
Byng, Captain, at Mons, 35 — 36 ; 

retires, 40 — 42 ; on the Aisne, 

47 



Cachy-Hangard road, 259 
Cachy Switch Line, 259 
Caillouel, 235, 243 
Caix, 251 
Cakli station, 267 
Caledonia, S.S., 108 
Calvary Trench, 165 
Calwell, 9th Batt., 129 
Cambrai, 18, 204, 230, 315 
Cambrai, battle of, 205 — 219 



416 



INDEX 



Cambrai sector, raids, 221 ; ad- 
vance from, 318 

Cambridge, 49 

Cambridge Road Trench, 74 

Cameron House, 200 

Camerons, the, Ypres, 183 

Camies, 2nd Lieut., 107 

Campbell, Lieut. -Col., 64 

Camping, Lance-Corpl., 127 

Canada, Jewish recruits, 26, 27 

Canada Tunnels, 317 

Canadians, the, at Gravenstafel, 
68 ; Arras, 158 ; Monchy le Preux, 
163 ; Arleux, 169 ; Passchen- 
daele, 203 ; Marquion, 312 ; 
battle of the Sambre, 330 

Cannes, 268 

Cannon, Major F., 24 

Cape Town, 276 

Carey, Captain, 36, 39, 51, 53 

Carlton Trench, 133 

Carnoy, 115, 119, 249, 300 

Carnoy-Suzanne road, 300 

Carr, Lieut. -Col. C. C, II, 139, 156 

Carre Wood, 300 

Carrickfergus, 8 

Castel, 251 

Cat Post, 309 

Catelet Valley, 307 

Caterpillar Valley, 133 

Caudry, 321 — 322 

Cavalry Farm, 173 — 174 

Cazalet, Captain G. L., 128 — 129 

Cecil, Hotel, 20 

Celestine Wood, 288 

Cemetery Wood, 312 

Cerlongo, 227 

Chadwick, Captain, R.T.T.C, 319 

Chambers, Lieut. A. E., 327 

Chard, Captain, 83, 117 

Charleroi, 327 

Chart, Lieut. -Col., 259 

Chassemy, 50 

Chateau Redoubt, 138, 139 

Chateau, the, Noyelles, 206 

Chatres, 45 

Chaulnes, 244, 247, 251 

Chauny, 243, 245 

Chavonne, 49 

Chell, Lieut., 76 

Cherisy, 173 

Chesterton, Lieut. A. K., 307 

Chichester, Major the Hon. A. C. 
S., 9 and note 

Childs, C, Q.M.S.. 24 

Chipilly Spur, 288 

Choate, Sergeant, 155 

Chocolate Hill, 102 — 103 

Chord, the, attack on, 82 — 84 

Christie, 2nd Lieut., 191 



Christmas, 19 14, 63 
Ciply, 31, 41 note 
Cit6 de l'Abattoir, 166 
Clapham Junction, 187 
Claridge's, the meeting at, 14 
Clark, Sergeant A., 13th Batt., 222 
Clarke, Captain, 7th Batt., 148 
Clarke, Captain C. A., 2/4th Lon- 

dons, 201 
Clarke, Captain S. H., 8th Batt., 

125, 129 
Clipstone Camp, 17 
Cloncurry Trench, 285 — 286 
Clonmel Copse, 183 
Coates, Lieut., 70 
Cockerill, Lieut. -Col., 9 and note 
Cohen, 2nd Lieut. E., 184 
Cojeul Switch Line, 161 
Colchester Camp, 9 — 11 
Cole, Brig. -Gen. Lowry, 71 
Cole, Captain, 36, 47 
Coley, Captain J. A., 237 
Colincamps, 249 
Collings, 2nd Lieut., 92 
Collins, Corporal G., 224 
Combles, 158, 302 
Combles Trench, 134, 137 
Comines, 317 
Commissions supply, controversy 

on, 15 — 16 
Compton, Major H. W., 12th Batt. 

12, 78 — 79, 178 
Conde" bridge, 50 
Conde House- (or Houlthulst-) 

Poelcapelle road, 197 — 199 
Connaught Rangers, 70 ; Gomme- 

court, 112 — 13; Ginchy, 134; 

Bullecourt, 209 
Contalmaison, 115 
Cook, 9th Batt., 117 
Cook, 2nd Lieut., 4th Batt., 120 
Cooke, 2nd Lieut., 20th Batt., 

119 
Cookson, Sergeant, 148 
Cooper, Lieut., 1st Batt., 55 
Cooper, Lieut., 4th Batt., 52 
Cooper, 2nd Lieut. H., 2nd Batt., 

86, 96, 99 
Cooper, 2nd Lieut. W. F., 12th 

Batt., 184 
Cope, Colonel, 125 
Cope, Lieut. T. G., 9 
Cope, Major, D.S.O., 83 
Cornaby, Captain G. E., nth 

Batt., 139, 309 
Couillet, Bois, 216 
Coulommiers, 45 
Courcelette. 153—154. x 57. 244, 

246 — 247 
Courcellcs, 49 



INDEX 



417 



Courtrai, 325 

Courtrai-Bossuyt Canal, 325 — 327 

Coventry, 2nd Lieut., 119 

Cowen, Mr. Jos., 25 

Cox, Captain H. J., 184 

Coxhead, Major, 144 ; Diary, 171 
and note 

Crater Lane Trench, 146 

Crepigny Ridge, 244—245 

Crepy, 44 

Crevecceur, 213 

Crichton, Lieut., 66 

Cripps, Major, 94, 100, 104, no 

Crissoles, 44, 247 note 

Croisilles, 293 

Croix, 241 

Crompton, 2nd Lieut. Douglas, 177 

Cronyn, Sergeant, 83, 84 

Crook, 2nd Lieut. W. G., 223 

Cross, Lance-Corpl. Cyril, 128 

Cross, Lieut. C. E. P., 319 

Crow, Private Tom, 128 

Croydon Trench, 286 

Crozat Canal, 232, 235 — 237, 241 

Cuba Trench, 167 

Cumberledge, Captain, 139, 156 

Cunliffe-Owen, Mrs., and Sports- 
man's Battalions, 19 — 20 

Dadizeele, 316 

Dakawa, 274, 276 

Daly, Maj.-Gen. A. C, 226 

Dammstrasse, 176 — 178 

Daniell, Major W. A. B., 90 

Dann, Lieut.-Col. R. H., 248 

Dar-es-Salaam, 275 

Dartnell, Lieut. Wilbur, 22, 270 — 

271 
Davidson, Captain, 225 
Davies, Lieut. R. A. L., 319 
Davis, C.S.M., 113 
Davis, 2nd Lieut. J., 255 
Davison, Alderman W. H., 17 
Davison, 2nd Lieut. R., 146 
Day, Captain F. C, 184 
Day, Lance-Corpl. G., 218 
Dead Man's Corner, 205 
Deakin, Major, 242 
Deakin, 2nd Lieut., 166 
Dearden, 2nd Batt., Ill 
Dease, Lieut. Maurice, 39 
De Beart Farm, 330 
Defu, The, 272 
Dehrbend Pass, 261 
Delville Wood, 18, 120 — 125 ; 

Delville Wood to Trones Wood 

trenches, 130 ; to Mouquet 

Farm, 135 
Demicourt, 303 
Denners, Private, 40 

F. 



Dernancourt, 288 

Desire Trench, 154 

Destremont Farm, 143 

Des Vceux, Colonel, 13 

De Trafford, Lieut. R. E. G. A., 92 

Dexter, 2nd Lieut., 223 

Dhuizel, 49, 50 

Diaries, remarks on, 29 — 31 ; 
discrepancies in officers', 45 note 

Dickebusch, 72, 187 

Digby, Private W., 195 

Dirty Bucket Camp, 199 

Disbandment of battalions, 229 

Disney, 2nd Lieut., 212 

Doignies, 303—304 

Doiran sector, 264 

Douai, 171 

Doudney, Captain H. D., 184 

Doulieu, 57, 257 

Dover defences, 8 

Downing, 2nd Lieut., 148 

Doyle, Conan, " The British Cam- 
paign in France and Flanders," 
69 note, 71 note 

Drake Battalion, 283 

Dreslincourt, 247 

Drie Masten, 323 

Driscoll, Colonel, 21 — 22, 274 — 
280 

" Driscoll's Scouts," 21 — 22 

Dublin Castle Post, Su via, 1 07 — 108 

Dublins, the, in Gallipoli, 103 — 
104 ; Ypres, 316 ; Ledeghem, 
323 ; Courtrai, 325 — 326 

Dudley, 2nd Lieut., 75 

Dumbarton Wood, 317 

Dummy Trench, 131 

Duncan Post, 309 

Dunchurch, 86 

Dunkirk, 182 

Dunnington-Jeflerson, 2nd Lieut. 
W., 69 

Dunthorn, 2nd Lieut. S. W., 203 

Durham Light Infantry, 73, 179 

Dutch, Lieut., 276 

Duthie, Captain A. M., 209 

Eagar, 2nd Lieut. R. T., 287 

Eagle Hut, Strand, 21 

East Ham, brigade raised, 24 

East Surrey Crater, 220 

East Surreys at Ypres, 70 ; on 

Bellewarde Ridge, 72 — 73 ; 

Loos, 80 ; Amiens, 285 
East Yorks at Zonnebeke, 194 ; 

Noreuil, 226 
Eaucourt l'Abbaye, 247 — 248 
Ecaillon, crossing the, 328 — 329 
Ecourt St. Quentin, 303 
Ecoust, 302 

E E 



4i<S 



INDEX 



Eder, Dr., 25 

Edington, 2nd Lieut., 224 

Edwards, Private F. J., 141 — 

142 
Edwards, C.S.M. J., 195 
Egypt, Jewish battalions in, 27 
" Eight Unattached," the, 14 
Eighteenth Battalion Royal 

Fusiliers, 14 — 17 
Eighteenth Hussars, Noyelles, 207 
Eighth Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 

9, 16; Loos, 76, 81 — 84; 

Ovillers, 116 — 118; Pozieres, 

125 — 127; October 7th, 1915. . 

143 ; Arras, 159 ; Roeux, 171 — 

172 ; Noyelles, 207 — 208 ; 

battle of Cambrai, 210 — 213 ; 

disbanded, 229 
Eighth Buffs, Trones Wood, 131 ; 

Guillemont, 133 ; raids, 153 ; 

Battle Wood, 179 
Eighth Middlesex, 161 
Eighth Queen's (72nd Brigade), 

132 
Eighth Somerset Light Infantry, 

333 

Eighth South African Infantry, 
279 

Eleventh Battalion Royal Fusi- 
liers, 11 — 12 ; Montauban, 113 
— 115; Trones Wood, 118; 
Carnoy, 119; Thiepval, 138 — 
141; Petit Miraumont planned, 
142 ; raids, 153 ; Boom Ravine, 
154 ; Cherisy, 173 ; a minor 
operation, 186 — 187 ; Poelca- 
pelle, 199 ; Passchendaele, 203 
— 204 ; position for the German 
offensive, 230 ; across the canal, 
235 — 238, 241 — 243 ; Beaugies, 
244 — 245 ; Montagne de 

Grandru, 247 — 248 ; Auber- 
court Ridge, 251 ; Amiens, 284 
— 285, 287 ; crossing the Ancre, 
291 — 292 ; Montauban, 300 — 
301 ; Priez Farm, 301 — 302 ; 
Epehy, 308 — 310; Vendhuile, 
315 ; Ecaillon, 328—329 ; 

Preux au Bois, 334 

Eleventh Middlesex, Arras, 160 

Elisan-Dolap, 266 

Elliott-Cooper, Lieut. -Col. N. B., 
83 — 84, 172, 211 — 212 

Empire Battalion Royal Fusiliers 
(17th Batt.), 13—M 

Emtsa, 24 

Engelbelmer, 249 

Epehy, battle of, 305 — 310 

Epehy-Pezieres, 305, 307 

Epinette Farm, 328 



Epsom, 15 

Epstein, Jacob, 28 

Equancourt, 205 

Ereclin River, 322 

Es Salt (Ramoth Gilead), 27 

Esscher, 325 

Essex Fusiliers, the, at Loos, 
81—82 ; Gallipoli, 97 ; Delville 
Wood, 120 ; Aubercourt Ridge, 
252 ; Mormal Forest, 332 — 333 

Estaires, 257 

Estaires-La Bass6e road, 65 

Estaires-Neuve Chapelle, 51 

Estill, Lieut. D. E., 9 

Etang de Dickebusch, 177 

Etchells, Major, 136, 245 

Eugies-Sars La Bruyere road, 
336 

Eustace, Lieut., 99, 100 

Evans, Lieut., 4th Batt., 290 

Evans, gth Batt., 117 

Even, Colonel G. E., 25 

Everitt, Lieut. H. W., in — 112 



Fabricius, 2nd Lieut., 119 — 120 

Falmer, 25 

Falmouth, 9 

Farbus line, 163 

Fargniers, 234—235 

Farm Labis, 257 

Farme Rouge, 234 

Favreuil, 298 — 300 

Featherstonehaugh, Captain, 117 

Ferdie sector, 265 

Ferret Trench, m — 112 

Festubert, 71 

Fetter (German) trench, 113 

Feuchy-Feuchy Chapel, 162 

Field, 2nd Lieut., 177 

Fifoot, 9th Batt., 129 

Fifteenth Battalion, Royal Fusi- 
liers, 13 

Fifth Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 
Gallipoli, 101 

Fifth Connaught Rangers, 
Salonika, 266 

Fifth Durham Light Infantry, 

257 
Fifth Gordons, Bailleul, 163 
Fifth Reserve Battalion, 8, 9 
Fifth Royal Berks, 250 
Fifth Royal West Rents, 287 
Fifth Scots, 95 
Filter, Lance-Corpl., 75 
Fins, 205 

Finsbury Barracks, 9 
Fir Trench, 112 
Firm Trench, 112 
First Artists Rifles, Ypres, 238 



INDEX 



419 



First Battalion Royal Fusiliers, on 
the Aisne, 49 ; Flanders, 51 ; 
Armentieres, 54 ; the march 
south, 62 ; at Ploegsteert, 63 ; 
Ypres, 77 ; Guillemont, 129 — 
132 ; Oosttaverne Line, 176 — 
178 ; Ypres, 183—185 ; Bod- 
min Copse, 189 ; Vadencourt, 
225 ; Vendelles, 226, 230, 235 — 
236 ; Monchy Lagache, 241 ; 
withdrawal from the Somme 
front, 244 ; Chaulnes, 247, 
250 — 252 ; sickness, 281 ; Rieux, 
322 ; Jenlain, 331— 33 2 - 

First Border Regiment, 91 — 92. 

First Buffs, Noyelles, 207 

First Essex, Caudry, 321 

First Guard Grenadier Regiment, 
308 

First Hants, 69 

First Herts, 304 ; Briseux Wood, 

321 
First King's R.R. Corps, Delville 

Wood, 122 — 124 ; Ancre, 146 

— 147 ; Boom Ravine, 157 ; 

Bourlon, 216 ; North of Bus, 

240 ; Gomiecourt, 297 
First Londons, 71, 200 ; Cojeul 

Switch Line, 161 ; Cavalry 

Farm, 173 — 174 ; Tadpole 

Copse, 209 
First Northumberland Fusiliers, 

St. Eloi, 84 — 85 ; Gu£mappe, 

165 ; Bullecourt, 209 ; Pudsey 

support trench, 227 ; Highland 

Ridge, 233 ; Arras, 252 ; the 

Ancre, 290 ; Ecoust, 302 ; 

Ribecourt, 313 
First Royal Berks, Delville Wood, 

122; the Ancre, 146 — 147; 

Bourlon, 216, 218 
First Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 

Gallipoli, 92 
First Seaforths, 65 
Firth, Lieut. S. H., 192 
Fish, 2nd Lieut., 221 
Fisher, Captain W. L. T., 55, 

236 
Fisher, Major Julian, 99 — 101 
Fisher's Keep, 307 — 308 
Fitterer, Sergeant, 155 
FitzClarence, Brig. -Gen., 100 

note 
FitzClarence, Captain A. A. C, 

100, and note 
Fitzclarence Farm, 186 
Flack, Lieut., 183 — 184 
Flagnies, 325 
Flammenwerfers, 127 — 128, 194 — 

195 



Flanders, the advance in, 315 — 

318, 322—324 
Flers, 134—137, 244 
Flesquieres Ridge, 209 
Fletcher, Lieut., 17th Battalion, 

124 
Fletcher, Lieut., at Suvla, 104 
Fleurbaix, 62 
Fleurbaix-Neuve Chapelle road, 

56 

Floyd, Corporal, 197 

Foggia, 268 

Fontaine au Bois, 334 — 335 

Fontaine les Croisilles, 168, 293 

Fontaine Trench, 1 73 

Fonteyn, 2nd Lieut., 180 

Fooley Post, 293 

Fooley Trench, 293 

Ford, Major, 204 

Ford, 2nd Lieut. A., 70 

Ford, 2nd Lieut. W., 148 

Forster, Captain J., 7th Batt., 
148, 232, 238—239 

Fort de Metz, 50 

Fortieth Battalion, Royal Fusi- 
liers, 26 — 28 

" Forty Days in 19 14," General 
Maurice, 40 note 

Forty-fifth Battalion, Royal Fusi- 
liers, in Russia, 23 — 24 

Forty-first Battalion, Royal 
Fusiliers, 26, 28 

Forty-second Battalion, Royal 
Fusiliers, 26, 28 

Forty-sixth Battalion, Royal 
Fusiliers, in Russia, 23 

Fosenville, 320 

Fosse, 8, 78, 79 

Foster, Captain Fred., 35, 39 

Fourth Avenue, 125 — 126 

Fourteenth Battalion, Royal Fusi- 
liers, 13 

Fourth Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, 
8; Mons, 31, 33—4°; the 
retreat, 41 — 46 ; the Aisne, 
46 — 49 ; Flanders, 51 ; Armen- 
tieres, 56 ; Aubers, 62 ; the 
King's visit, 63 ; gas attacks 
on, 72 ; Bellewarde, 74 — 75 ; 
Hooge, 77 ; St. Eloi, 84 — 85 ; 
officers at Montauban, 115; 
Bazentins, 119 ; Delville Wood, 
120 — 121 ; Guillemont, 129 — 
131 ; the Ancre, 144 — 145 ; 
147 ; Arras, 159 — 160 ; Gue- 
mappe, 164 — 165 ; Monchy, 
172 ; Lagni court, 190 ; Poly- 
gon Wood, 193 — 195 ; Bremen 
Redoubt, 193 — 194 ; Bulle- 
court, 209 — 210; Noreuil, 226 
s s 2 



420 



INDEX 



— 227 ; Cherisy-Fontaine, 230 ; 
Highland Ridge, 233 ; March 
22nd, 1918..236 — 237, 240; 
March 24th, 243 ; Crisolles, 
247 note ; Arras, 252 ; the Lys, 
257 — 258, 282 ; Battle of 
Bapaume, 290 ; Gomiccourt, 
296 ; Kemmel Hill, 296 ; Ecoust 
302 ; Battle of Epehy, 306 ; 
Ribecourt, 313 ; Forenville, 
320 ; Ruesnes, 328 ; Army of 
Occupation, 336 

Fourth Bedfords, Ytres, 238 ; 
Thilloy, 300 

Fourth Dragoons, Noyelles, 206 — 
207 

Fourth King's R.R., Le Catelet, 

319 
Fourth Londons, Rue des Ber- 
ceaux, 67 ; St. Jean, 70 ; Galli- 
poli, 105; Gommecourt, in — 
113; Ginchy, 134; Bullecourt 
line, 174; Langemarck, 188; 
Schuber Farm, 191 ; Passchen- 
daele, 201 ; Tadpole Copse, 
209 ; Fargniers, 234 ; Voeul, 
237 : Oppy. 253—254 ; Han- 
gard Wood, 259 — 260 ; Amiens, 
287 — 288 ; Bullecourt, 292 — 
293 ; Maricourt, 300 ; Epehy, 
306 ; Palluel, 313 ; Sambre, 

330 

Fourth Middlesex, Mons, 35, 53 

Fourth Ontario Battalion, 68 

Fourth (Queen Augusta's) Guard 
Grenadiers, 60 

Fovargue, Lance-Corpl., 67 

Fox, 9th Batt., 129 

Frameries, 41 

Franco-American attack, Septem- 
ber 6th, 1918. .311 

Frankfort Trench, 146 

Franklin, Captain, 117 

Franklin, 2nd Lieut. F., 69 

Fred's Wood, 161 

Freemantle, 2nd Lieut., 295 

Freer, 100 

Frelinghem, 76 

French Army, advance in Galli- 
poli, 98 ; Guillemont, 129 ; 
plans to assist the, 168 — 174 ; 
Poelcapelle, 197 

French, Captain J. E., 266 

French, Sir John, compliments 
the 4th Batt., 49 ; admiration 
for the Fusiliers, 58 ; his 
reserve units, 77 

Freyberg, 149 

Fricourt, 134, 301 

Fiicourt-Maricourt road, 300 



Fromelles, 52, 53, 55, 71 
Frontiersman, article quo'ed, 278 
Frontiersmen of the 25th, 21 — 22 
Frost, orderly, 106 
Fuller, Captain, 186 
Furnie, Captain, 160 — 161 



Gallagher, Major A. E., 224 

Galle, 2nd Lieut. Home, 176 

Gallipoli, 26, 86 — 108 

Galsworthy, 55 

Galzignano, 228 

Garhwal Brigade, 64 

Garhwal Rifles, 71 

Garland, Captain, 112 

Garnons-Williams, Major R. D., 
12, 78 — 79 

Garrood, 9th Batt., 117 

Gas on the Western front first 
released, 68 — 69 ; May 24th, 
1915. .72 

Gast, Captain, 167 

Gavrelle, 166 — 168 

Gavrelle-Roeux road, 169 

Gee, Captain, 213 — 214 

Geleide Brook, 183 

Gell, Captain, 123 

Genly, 42 

Genoa, 227 

Gentelles-Hangard line, 251 

George V., H.M., visit to the 
trenches, 63 ; inspects the 2nd 
Battalion, 86 ; inspection at 
Senlis, 129 

German offensive, March, 19 18, 
230 — 260 ; Germans in Galli- 
poli, 97 — 98 

Gheluvelt, 221, 316 

Gheluvelt Wood, 194, 196 

Gheluwe, 316 — 317 

Ghissignies, 329 

Ghlin, 35, 36 

Ghlin-Mons bridges, defence, 35 — 

37 
Gibbs, Mr., reports, 127 note 
Gibercourt, 235 
Gibson, Captain, 164 
Gibson, Major, 79 
Gilmour, Brig. -Gen. R. Gordon, 

15 
Ginchy, 131, 134 
Gitu, 272 
Givenchy, 14, 261 
Glencorse Wood, 186 — 188 
Gluckstein, S. M., 14 
Goddard, Captain, 148 — 149 
Goddard, 2nd Lieut., 227 
Godley, Private, 39 
Goeben, the, 98 note 



INDEX 



421 



Gomiecourt, 296 — 97 
Gommecourt, m — 113, 254 
Gonnelieu, 205 
Gonnelieu trenches, 20S 
Good Old Man Farm, 211 
Goodliffe, 54, 111 
Goolden, 2nd Lieut., 130 
Gordon, Captain, 1st Batt., 178 
Gordon, Lieut. -Col., 19th Batt., 

Gordons, the, 61 

Gorre Wood, 258 

Gorst, Lieut., 52, 57 

Goudezonne Farm, 176 

Gough, General, congratulates the 

9th Batt., 84 ; plans of, 241 
Gouzeaucourt, 306, 312 
Gouzeaucourt-Cambrai road, 210 

— 211 
Grady, 2nd Lieut. W., 69 
Graincourt, 218 
Grand Riez, 52 
Grand Rozoy, 46 
Grandcourt Trench, 154 — 155 
Grandru, Montagne de, 247 — 

248 
Grant, Captain, 124 
Granville, Captain, 167 
Gravenstafel, 68 ; defence line, 

257 
Gray, Captain, 186 
Greathead, Captain A., 208 
Greece, King of, inspection of the 

3rd Batt., 267 
Green, 9th Batt., 129 
Green Jacket Ridge, 317 
Green, Sergeant W, 13th Batt., 

333 and note 
Greenland Hill, 168 
Greenwood, 115 
Grevillers, 245 
Grevillers Trench, 18 
Griffiths, Captain, 206 
Ground, 2nd Lieut., 150 
Guard, the Imperial, attack by, 

60 — 61 ; the Prussian, at 

Ovillers, 117 
Guards, the Irish, thank the 9th 

Batt., 81 
Gubbins, Lieut.-Col., 84 
Gudgeon, Captain, 99 — 100 
Guemappe, 164 — 166 
Guernsey Light Infantry, 214 
Gueudecourt, 143, 246 — 247 
Guignabaudit, General, 137 — 138 
Guildhall, colours handed to the 

Lord Mayor, 9 
Guillemont, 124, 129 — 134 
Guillemont Farm, 308 
Gully, 154—155 



Gully Beach, 99 

Guyon, Lieut.-Col. G. S., 89, 100, 
104, 105, in 

Hachette Farm, 335 

Hack, R.S.M., 131— 132 

Haig, Sir Douglas, praise for the 
8th and 9th Battalions, 84 ; on 
the Somme battle, 129 ; plans, 
152, 158, 204, 288, 315 ; on the 
Army's position, 230 ; de- 
spatches, 281 ; praise for the 
Londons, 301 ; the offensive, 
September, 19 18, 311 — 312 

Hailles, 251 

Halting, Lieut. -Gen. Sir R. C. B., 
compliments the 10th Batta- 
lion, 163 

Haldane, Lieut. -Gen., message to 
the 3rd Division, 252 

Haldane, Sergeant, 177 — 178 

Hall, Lieut. -Gen., 208 

Hallett, Corporal, 187 

Hallowes, Lieut., E. P., 146 

Halt, 55 

Ham, 44 

Hamel, 246, 284 

Hamers Lane, 162 

Hamilton, General Sir Ian, 48 
note ; " Well done, Fusiliers," 
44 ; despatches, 86 note, 88, 
90 note, 93 note, 98 note 

Hamilton, 2nd Lieut. K. W., 146 

Hampton, 2nd Lieut. R. W., 125 

Hancock, Corporal, 203 

Handeni, 272 

Handyside, Captain, 112 

Hangard, 251 

Hangard, Wood, 259 

Hanham, 2nd Lieut., 92 

Hants, the, Royal Fusiliers linked 
with, 96 

Haplincourt, 240 

Happy Valley, 132 

Hardecourt, 301 

Harding, Captain, Diary, 31 

Harding, Lieut., 38 

Hardman, Lieut., 85 

Hare, Brig.-Gen. S. W., 88 

Harfleur, 33 

Harford, 100 

Hargicourt, 44 

Harp, the, 160 

Harper, Captain, 200 

Harrup, 2nd Lieut. F. C. L., 308 

Harter, Lieut., 75 

Hartley, Lieut.-Col., 290 

Harveng, 336 

Haut Pommereau, 53 

Haute Deule, Canal de la, 325 



422 



INDEX 



Haute Maison, 45, 294 
Havard, 2nd Lieut. W. R., 113 
Havre, 33, 64 
Havrincourt, 304 — 306 
Havrincourt Wood, 238, 304 
Hawke Battalion, Passchendaele, 

202 
Hawker, Lieut. -Col., 10 
Hawkesley, Private, 148 
Hawkins, Captain K., 202, 232 
Hawthorne Redoubt, 1 10 
Haywood, 2nd Lieut. E. J., 105 
Hazell, Sergeant, 155 
Heaver, 9th Battalion, 129 
Hebden, Major, 226 
Hector, 2nd Lieut., 295 
Hele-Shaw, Dr., 14 
Helles, Cape, 105, 108 
Hely-Hutchinson, Major, with the 

4th Battalion, 13, 61, 74 — 75, 

193 ; accident to, 129 
Henderson, 2nd Lieut. W., 222 
Heninel, 163, 166 
Henry, Lieut. -Col. Vivian, 8 
Hepburn, Captain G E., 63 
Herbert, Major-General Lionel, 14 
Herbert, 2nd Lieut., 120 
Herenthage Wood, 59 
Herlies, 51 — 54 
Hermies, 205, 218, 303, 304 
Hermon-Hodge, Captain R., 15 
Hervilly, 226 

Hesketh, Lieut. -Col. R. S. I., 9 
Hewitt, 96 

Hewlett, 2nd Lieut., 188 
Heywood, 2nd Lieut., 150 
Hickie, Major-Gen. W. B., 226 
Hicks, Lieut. F. A., 290 
Hiddingh, Lieut., 165 
Hielle Farm, 178 
High Beech, 22 
High Wood, 119 — 120, 133, 143, 

244 
Highland Light Infantry, Bourlon, 

218 ; Gomiecourt, 296 
Highland Ridge, 231 
Hill 40 . . 193 — 194 ; Hill 60 , . 180 

Hill 114. .92, 93 

141- -93 
Hill, Lieut. W. E., 
" Hill Street," 132 
Hills, 2nd Lieut., 226 
Hindcnburg Line, 158, 175, 205, 

216, 293, 304—3 5. 319 
Hindenburg Support Trench, 210, 

225 
Hine, 2nd Lieut., 119 
Hirson, 327 
" History of the Royal Fusiliers 

U. P. S.," reference to, 16 note 



and note ; Hill 
287 



Hitchcock, Major Burnett, 264 
Hobbs, Lieut., 47 
Hodges, Lieut., 52 
Hogneau stream, 332 
Hohenzollern Redoubt, 79 — 80 ; 

the Chord, 82 
Holleny, 2nd Lieut., 72 
Hollingworth, Captain, 119 
Holnon, 306 
Honnelle, 331 
Honourable Artillery Company, 

on the Ancre, 147 — 149 
Hood, Captain, 197 — 198, 207 
Hooge, 58, 77, 316 
Hope, Captain, 334 
Hope-Johnstone, Captain H. M., 

95—97 
Hope-Johnstone, Lieut. -Col., 178 

—180, 185 
Hornchurch, 20 
Hornfeck, Captain, 309, 328 
Horse Guards' parade ground, 20 
Hotel Cecil, India Room for re- 
cruiting, 19 
Houghton, Captain, 234 
Houlthulst Forest, 203, 204 
Hounslow depot, 5 — 8, 12 
Houplines, 77 
Houthem, 317 
Howard, 2nd Lieut., 85 
Howard, Captain, 4th Batt., 307 
Howie, 2nd Lieut. J. P., 200 
Howlett, Captain, 50 
Huband, R.S.M., statement by, 

98 note 
Hudson, Major, 139 
Husdon, 2nd Lieut., 254 
Huggett, 96 

Hughes, Private F. G., 291 — 292 
Hughes, 2nd Lieut., 45, 48 
Hughes, 2nd Lieut. A. E., 153 
Hulloch, 81 

Humphries, Captain W. T., 319 
Hunter-Weston, Lieut. -Gen. Sir 

Aylmer, 86 
Hurtebise Farm, 320 — 321 
Hutchinson, Colonel F. P., 13 
Hyam, 2nd Lieut. A., 69 
Hyde Park inspections, 15, 20 



Imbros, 103 

Impartial Trench, 179 

Imperial Light Horse, 13 

" Imperial recruits " at Houns- 
low, 8 

Implacable, H.M.S., at Gallipoli, 
87—90 

Inchy, 42, 43 

Inchy en Artois, 303 



INDEX 



423 



Indian troops at Rue Petillon, 62 ; 

in Gallipoli, 98 
Infantry Hill, 173 
Inns of Court O.T.C., 207 note 
Inverness Copse, 186 — 188 
Irish Farm, 203 
Irles, 158 

Isaacs, 2nd Lieut. V. H., 308 
Italian front, troops for the, 23, 

220 ; Fusilier battalions in Italy 

227 — 229 
Italians in Salonika, 263 — 264 
Ives, 2nd Lieut., 120 

Jabotinsky, V., 26, 28 
Jackson, Lieut., 46, 59 
Jacobs, Captain J. H., 322 
Jacobs, Lieut. -Gen. C. W., 141 
Jacobs, 2nd Lieut., 132 
Jacob's House, 194 
Jager (18th) Division, 35 
Jakes, Private Arthur, 187 
James, orderly, 106 
Jap Trench, 187 
Jargon Trench, 187 
Jarratt, Corporal G., 172 
Jebens, Lieut., 91, 95 
Jeffcoat, 2nd Lieut. S. F., 170 
Jeffrey Avenue, 183 — 184 
Jehovah Trench, 185 
Jenkins, Lieut. C. R. W., 152 
Jenkinson, Captain, 99 
Jenlain, 331 

Jepson, Captain A. G. L., 137 
Jepson, 2nd Lieut., 104 
Jerusalem, Jewish battalions in, 
27 ; Jerusalem School of Music, 
28 

Jewish battalions, the, 25 — 28 
" Jewish Regiment of Infantry," 
26 

Jiljilia, 27 

Johnson, Captain, 114 

Johnson, Captain, nth Batt., 139, 
141 

Johnson, Captain S. W., 3rd Lon- 
dons, 305 

Johnson, Lieut. -Col. A. V., 68, 
72—73, no 

Johnson, 2nd Lieut., 3rd Londons, 
112 

Johnston, Sir Chas., 22 

Jolimetz, 333 

Jones, Captain G. A., 236 

Jones, Private H., 152 

Jones, 2nd Lieut. F. A. B., 192 
and note 

Jones, Sergeant, 75 

Jordan, Private, 242 

Jordan, Jewish Battalions, 27 



" Judeans," the, 28 
Jussy, 235, 237, 241 — 242 
Jussy-Faillouel road, 242 

K.S.L.I., 194 

Kahe, advance to, 271 — 272 

Kajiado, 269 

Kalendra, 267 

Kappaart, 326 

Kearton, Cherry, 22 

Keary, Major-Gen. H. O. N., 67 

Keir, General, 54 

Kellett, Brig. -Gen. R. O., 18, 20 

Kellett, Colonel, 188 

Kemmel Hill, 61, 67, 295 — 297 

Kennedy, Rev. Studdert, 178 

Kensington, Mayor of, 17 

Kentish, Brig. -Gen. R. J., 259 

Kerensky, M., 26 

Kerry, 2nd Lieut. A., 236 

Key, Lieut. -Col., 24 

Khartum, 104 

Kilimanjaro, 271 

Kilmister, Lieut. H. A., 292 

Kilwa, 277 — 279 

Kinahan, 2nd Lieut. J., 322 

King Edward's Horse, 17 

King, 2nd Lieut. A. H., 292 

King's African Rifles, 279 

King's Liverpools at Guillemont, 
130 ; Gu6mappe, 165 

King's Own, Noyelles, 315 

King's Own Scottish Borderers, 61 

Kirby, Captain H. L., 186 

Kissaki, 275 

Kisumu, 269 — 270 

Kitchener, Lord, policy in recruit- 
ing, 12 ; and Mrs. Cunliffe- 
Owen, 19 ; Gallipoli, 105 

Klein Zillebeke, 185 — 186 

Knott, 9th Batt., 129 

Knott, Lieut., nth Batt., 242 

Konigsberg, the, 274 

Krithia, battle of, 94 — 97, 10 1 

Krote, 326 

Krusha Balkans, 263 

Kuhn Camp, 182 

Kwa Direma, 272 — 275, 278 

Laatse Oortie - Hoogstraatje 

Ridge, 326 
La Bass6e, battle of, 54 
La Bass6e Canal, 16, 258 
La Becque, 296 
Labis Farm, 294 
La Boisselle, 115 — 116, 118 
Labour battalions, 25 
La Bretonniere, 45 note. 
La Chapelle d'Armentieres, 55 
La Cour de Soupir, 50 



424 



INDEX 



La Creche, 296 

Lady's Leg Ravine, 158 

La Fere, 234 

Lagnicourt, 190, 209 

Lahore Division, 67 

La Longueville, 34 

La Martroy, 45 and note, 46 

Lambert, 2nd Lieut. G., 69 

Lancashires, the, in Gallipoli, 87, 
89 note, 90, 92 — 94, 102 ; Poel- 
capelle, 197 — 198 ; advance in 
Flanders, 316 — 317 ; Lede- 
ghem, 323 

Landrecies, 34 

Langemarck, 187 — 190 

La Plouich, 52, 53 

Large, Captain Murray, 335 

Lascelles, Lieut. -Col. G. R., 13 

La Vacquerie, 208, 210, 212, 

239 
Laval, 335 

Lawford, General, 22, 135 
Layes River, 71 

Layfield, 2nd Lieut. J., 323 — 324 
Lay ton. Colonel, 163 
Learning, Captain, 206 
Leatherhead, 15 
Le Barque, 143 
Le Cateau, 43, 120 ; 2nd battle, 

320—322 
Le Cateau-Abre Guernon road, 

325 
Le Catelet, advance to, 318 — 319 
Lechelle, 238 — 239 
Lecluse, 303 
Ledeghem, 323 
Lee, Captain, 61 
Lee, Lieut. A. H., 166, 226 
Lees, Captain G. C, 234 
Leeming, Captain, 184 
Legg, 2nd Lieut. K. B., 295 
Legge, Lieut. H. M., 69 
" Legion of Marksmen," the, 14, 

21, 22 
Leicester Yeomanry, 70 
Leinsters, the, 50 ; Ypres, 184 
Lekkerboterbeek, 200, 201 
Le Mans Farm, 45 
Lembet Plain, 261 
Lemnos, 87, 100 
Lempire, 308, 309, 315 
Lens, 324 
Le Pilly, 52, 53 
L'Epinette, 55 
Le Riez, 52 
Le Rond Quesne, 334 
Lesage Farm, 294 
Le Sars, 135, 245, 246, 247 
Les Bceufs, 143 — 144 
Les Etoquies, 335 



Les Faucheres, 46 

Leslie, Captain, 89, 90, 92 

Le Transloy, 144, 244, 246 

Leuze Wood, 134 

Levi, 2nd Lieut., 212 

Levon, 2nd Lieut. G. C, 146 

Lewis House, 196 

Lewis, Major N. A., 122 

Lewis, 2nd Lieut., 116 

Licourt position, 241 

Lieven, 165 

Ligny, 244 

Ligny en Cambresis, 321 

Ligny Thilloy, 143, 245, 300 

Lihons, 251 

Lille, 317, 325 

Lille-Douai salient, 324 

Lincolns, the, 48, 52, 6i 

Lindi, 276 — 279 

Lisle, General de, Cavalry Brigade, 
50 ; compliments the 2nd Batt., 
207 

Lissmann, Captain, 163 

Little Willie Trench, 80, 82 

Livingston, Captain, 66 

Lloyd, Sir Francis, 15 

Lockey, 2nd Lieut. E. W., 134 

Logeast Wood, 289 — 291 

Loisne, 258 

Loison, 324 

Lombartzyde, 182 

London and South-Western Rail- 
way main lines, guarding the, 
28 — 29 

London Regiment, battalions of 
the, 1, 29, ; battalions sent to 
Russia, 23 ; Arras, 159, 252 ; 
across the Oise, 248 ; Sebour- 
quiaux, 335 
First Line Londons, position for 
the German Offensive, 230 — 
231 
Second Line battalions, 190 ; 
Passchendaele, 200 — 201 ; 
position for the German offen- 
sive, 230 ; Maricourt, 300 ; 
praised for August 26th, 1918 
..301 

London Rifle Brigade, Ginchy, 
134 ; Langemarck, 187 ; Sau- 
chy-Cauchy, 312 ; the Sambre, 

331 

London Support Trench, 227 
Long, Captain J. W., 134 
Long, 2nd Lieut., 209 
Longatte, 302 
Longman, Lieut., 42, 46, 52 ; 

Diary, 31 note 
Longueval Alley, 121, 131 
Loop Trench, 137 



INDEX 



425 



Loos, 12, 76 — 82, 109, 153 

Lord, Captain A. J., 252, 282, 306 

—307 
Loseby, Captain, 213 — 214 
Lositza, 263 
Louvignies, 332 
Louvignies-Le Quesnoy road, 332 

—333 

Lowe, 2nd Lieut. G. S., 308 

Lower Star Post, 184, 191 

Lowry, Corporal, 219 

Lowrey, Lance-Corpl., A., 84 

Ludd, 27 

Ludd-Haifa-Semach, 28 

Ludendorff, General, on the vic- 
tory of the Ancre, 145 ; on the 
condition of the armies, 243 

Lug Farm, 282 

Lukigura, the, 273 

Lukuledi River, 278 

Lukuledi Valley, 280 

Lumigny, 45 

Lupton, 9th Batt., 129 

Ly Fontaine, 235 

Lyle, Captain A. A., 71 

Lyles, Sergeant, 25 

Lynde Farm, 294 

Lynx Trench, 160 

Lys, the, 55, 256—259, 281—284, 
294, 296 



Mabbott, Captain, 282, 307 

McCabe, Sergeant D., 218 — 219 

McCarthy, 2nd Lieut. A., 298 

McGee, Private, 75 

Mcintosh, Private, 84 

Mclntyre, Lieut., 137 

Mackenzie, 9th Batt., 117 

McLaggan, Captain J. M., 319 

Maclean, 2nd Lieut., 60 

McMahon, Colonel, the Retreat, 
43 ; on the work of the 4th 
Batt., 48 note ; at Herlies, 52, 
53 ; promotion, 56 — 58 ; killed, 
60 

McNichol, Lieut. -Col. G., 192 

Magali, 275 

Magnay, Captain, 61 

Mailly area, 283 

Maitland, Colonel, 20 

Makindu, 274 

Maktau, 270 — 271 

Malard Wood, 287 

Mallandain, Lieut., 69 note. 

Mallock, Major, 40, 43, 56, 57 

Mall-Smith, Lieut. R. A., 139 

Malone, Lieut. -Col. E. G. 
L'Estrange, 224, 225, 239 



Maloney, Private, 285 — 286 

Malplaquet, 34 

Malta, 29, 87, 104, 105 

Mametz, 114, 301 

Mametz Wood, 115 

Manchester Brigade, 98 

Mander, 2nd Lieut., 177 

Manicamp, 245, 248 

Manson, 9th Batt., 117 

Marcoing, 206 — 207 

Marcoing road, 214 — 216 

Margolin, Lieut. -Col. E. L., 27 

Marguard, Captain J., 298 

Maricourt, 118, 300 — 301 

Maricourt — Briquetin road, 118 

Mario w, 22 

Marlowe, 2nd Lieut., 161 

Marne, battle of the, 45 — 46 

Maroilles road, 335 

Marquion, 312 

Marquis line, 254 

Marseilles, 261 

Marsh, 2nd Lieut. H., 319 

Marston, Sergeant, 99 

Martin, Lieut., 12th Batt., 180 

Martin, Lieut. B. C, 4th Batt., 

164 
Martinsart, 249 — 250 
Masnieres, 213 — 216, 320 
Masnieres-Beaurevoir line, 320 
Mason, Captain A. K. K., 83 
Mathieson, Lieut., 66 
Matthews, 2nd Lieut. C. H., 

236 
Maubeuge, 41, 327 
Maude, Lieut. M. B., 152 — 153 
Maurice, General, " Forty Days 

in 1914," 40 note 
Maurier, George du, 67 — 68 
Maurier, Gerald du, 68 
Maurier, Guy du, Lieut. -Col., 67 

—68 
Maxse, Sir Ivor, 138 
Maxwell, Colonel, 141 
Maxwell, Major A., 192 
May, Lieut. R. L. G„ 266 
Mead, 2nd Lieut., 39 
Meade, Major H. E., 129 
Meares, Captain C. S., 124 
Mears-Devenish, 2nd Lieut J. A., 

226, 236 
Measures, 2nd Lieut., 286 
Meaulte, 288, 291 
Meaux, 45 
Mellish, Rev. N., 85 
Menin road area, 188, 190 — 193, 

196, 221, 316, 323 
" Menora " badge, the, 28 
Mepham, 2nd Lieut. H. L., 258 
Mercatel, 292 



426 



INDEX 



Mergnies, 320 

Merrikin, 2nd Lieut. G. H., 293 

Merris, 54, 57, 257 

Merris, Mont de, 281 

Mersey, monitor, 279 

Mesnil, 249, 255 

Messines, battle of, 175 — 181 

Messines-Wytschaete ridge objec- 
tive, 175 — 181 

Metz switch, 238 

Mex Camp, Alexandria, 87, 94 

Meyricke, Lieut. -Col. R. J. F., 139, 
155—156 

Mezieres, 327 

Mgeta River, 275 — 276 

Micmac Camp, 185 

Middlesex Regiment, n, 41; at 
Loos, 80 ; Thiepval, 138 — 141 ; 
Boom Ravine, 155 — 156 ; Che- 
risy, 173 ; Bullecourt, 294 

Mild, nth Batt., 115 

Mill Hill, 11 

Miller's House, 197 — 198 

Millson, Captain A. E., 160 — 
161 

Miraumont, 18, 154, 156 — 158, 246 
—247 

Mobbs, Lieut. -Col., 165 

Mceuvres, 209, 216, 306, 313 

Molyneux, Sergeant J., 198 

Mombasa, 22, 269 

Monchy, 168, 172 

Monchy Lagache, 241 

Monchy le Preux, 161 — 164 

Mons to the Aisne, 31 — 50 ; work 
of the 4th Batt., 35 — 41 ; the 
retreat, 41 — 49 

Mons-Maubeuge road, 336 

Mont Dourlers, 336 

Mont St. CEuvre, 318 

Montauban, 113 — 115, 249, 301 

Montello, the, 228 

Montescourt, 235 

Montdidier, 251 

Montois, 44, 45 note 

Montrceul Wood, 336 

Moody, Lieut. E. L., 329 

Moore, Captain, 3rd Londons, 
66 

Moore, Captain, 2nd Batt. in 
Gallipoli, 90, 93 — 97 

Moore, Captain A. R., 4th Lon- 
dons, 113 

Moorseele, 323 

Moray House, 200 

Morgan, 2nd Lieut., 116 

Morlancourt, 288 

Mormal Forest, 327 — 330, 332 — 

334 
Morogoro, 275 — 276 



Morton, Captain, 155 

Morval, 135, 144 

Morval-Lesboeufs road, 134 

Morval-Thiepval Ridge, 154 

Mory, 298 

Moschi, 271 — 272 

Moss, Brig. -Gen. Boyd, congratu- 
lates the 9th Batt., 84 ; and 
the 8th and 9th Batts., 143 

Mouat, Captain G. M. D., 71 

Moulin du Pietre, 51 

Mouquet Farm, 135 

Moxon, Captain, 53, 85 

Muck Trench, 150 

Mudros, 100, 108 

Mundey, Adjutant, 96, 99 

Munich Trench, 146 — 147 

Munsters, the, in Gallipoli, 95, 102, 
104 

Murless, Lieut., 153 

Murmansk, 23 

Murrell, 2nd Lieut. G. W., 186 

Murrumbidgee Camp, 30 

Mussbaum, Lieut. N. P., 184 

Mwuha, 275 



Nairobi, 269 

Narrows, the attack on the, 87 

Narunyu, 279 — 280 

Nathan, 2nd Lieut. W. S., 180 

Neate, Captain, 173 

Nelson, Captain, 116 

Nepean, Lieut. E. C, 319 

Nervesa bridgehead, 228 

Neuilly Trench, 160 

Neuve Chapelle, 56, 64 — 65, 71 

Neuville, 238 

Neuville-Vitasse, 159, 161, 252 

Nevinson, Mr., "The Darda- 
nelles," 93 note, 105 

New Zealand Division, Pozieres, 
126; Colin camps, 249; Fav- 
reuil, 300 

Newcombe, 2nd Lieut., 79 

Newenham, Colonel, 89 and notes, 
92 

Neynoc, Major, 165, 178, 180 

Ngura Hills, 274 

Nicholson, Lieut. -Col. E. H., 

319 
Nicholson, Private J., 114 
Nicholson, 2nd Lieut. A., 287 
Nield, Mr. Herbert, 13 — 14 
Nieuport, 182 
Nimy, 34 — 36 
Nimy Bridges, 35, 37—38 
" Nimy Hospital," 31 note 
Nineteenth Battalion, 14 — 16 



INDEX 



427 



Ninth Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, 
9 ; Loos, 81 — 82 ; the Chord, 
82 — 84 ; congratulations for, 
84; Ovillers, 115 — 118; Po- 
zieres, 125 — 128 ; 7th October, 
1915..143 — 144; Arras, 159 — 
160 ; Roeux, 171 — 172 ; Noy- 
elles, 207 — 208 ; Battle of Cam- 
brai, 210 — 213 ; on the Ancre, 
231 ; Albert, 249 — 250 ; Amiens, 
286 — 288 ; Battle of Bapaume, 
292 ; Gomiecourt, 296 ; Fri- 
court, 300, 301 ; Epehy, 308 ; 
Vimy, 324 

IX. German Corps at Mons, 41 

Ninth Rifle Brigade, 160 

Ninth Royal Irish Fusiliers, 224 

Noble, Private, 25 

Nomeny Trench, 160 — 161 

Nonne Boschen, 187 

Nord, Canal du, 205, 303, 304 

Noreuil, 226, 243, 302 

Norfolks, the, 61 

Norris, Lance-Corpl. T., 224 

North, Lieut.-Col. the Hon. W. F., 
22 

Northants, the, Thiepval, 141 ; 
Crozat Canal, 235, 238 ; Amiens, 
285 ; Combles, 302 ; Epehy, 
308 ; Ecaillon, 329 

North-Bomford, Captain, 95 

Northumberland Fusiliers, 33, 296, 
Le Cateau, 43 ; Herlies, 53 ; 
Ypres, 59 ; Lys area, 282 — 283 

Norwell, 2nd Lieut., 258 

Nose Trench, 182 

Notting Hill, 11 

Nouvelles-Harveng road, 336 

Noyelle-Godault, 324 — 325 

Noyelles, 34, 205—208, 314 — 315 

Noyelles-Cambrai road, 206 

Noyons, 44 

Obourg Bridge, 40 
Oboyerskia, 23 
Obstacle Switch, 176 
Obstacle Trench, 176 
O'Connell, 2nd Batt., 92, 94, 96 
O'Connor, Lieut. B. J., 319 
O'Donel, Captain G., 59, 60, 75 
Odyssey Trench, 177 — 178 
Officers' Association, 19 
Offignies, 336 
Ogle, Captain, 202 
Ohlmann, 2nd Lieut. G. H. L., 80 
Oise Canal, 230, 233 ; retreat 

across the, 248 
Oisy, 330 

Oisy le Verger, 312 
Oliver, 2nd Lieut., 82 



Olympus, Mount, 261 
Omignon River, 225, 226 
One Hundred and Fiftieth Prus- 
sian Regiment, prisoners, 178 
Oost Dunkerque, 182 
Oosttaverne hamlet, 1 75 
Oosttaverne Line, the, 176 — 177 
Osttaverne Wood, 178 
Ooteghem, 327 
Oppy, 18, 163 — 164, 166, 169 — 

174 
Oppy Post, 253, 254 
Oppy Trench, 169 
Orange Hill, 162 
Orchard Trench, 133 
Orljak, 266 
Orljak Bridge, 262 
Orly, 45—46 
Ormesher, Lieut., 106 
Orred, Lieut., 47 
Osborne, 9th Batt., 117 
Osborne, Sergeant, 4th Batt., 57 
Ouderdom, 64, 70 
Ouse Trench, 254 
Outram, George, 22 
Outtersterne, 257 
Outtersterne Ridge, 294 
Ovillers, 115 — 118 
Owen, Brig. -Gen. C. S., message to 

the men, 159 note. 

Paddebeck, 201 

Paddock, 2nd Lieut., 161 

Padua, 228 

Palairet, Captain, 55 

Palestine, Jewish Battalions in, 

26 — 29 
Palluel, 312, 313 
Palmer, Lieut., 20th Batt., 119 
Palmer, Sergeant, 22nd Batt., 17 

—18, 156—157 
Pangani River, 272 
Panting, Captain, 315 
Paprat, 263 
Parenchies, 55 
Paris Copse, 315 
Parker, Lieut. F., 267 
Parkhurst, 33 
Parr-Dudley, 2nd Lieut., 114 — 

"5 
Paschall, Sergeant-Major, 107 
Passchendaele, 69 ; 2nd battle of, 

199 — 204 
Patterson, Lieut.-Col. J. H., 26 — 

27 
Patterson's Column, 27 
Payne, Lance-Corpl. A., 114 
Peacock, 9th Batt., 117 
Pearce, 2nd Lieut. R., 146 
Pearcy, Captain, nth Batt., 242 



428 



INDEX 



Pearcy, 2nd Lieut. G. S., nth 

Batt., 156 
Pearse, Sergeant Samuel George, 

23—24 
Pearson, Lieut. J. A., 129 
Peaston, 2nd Lieut. L. G., 236 
Peel, 2nd Lieut., 207 
Pelican Trench, 208 
Pellow, C.S.M., 134 
Penchard, 45 
Penfold, Captain, 224 
Penny, 2nd Lieut., 124 
Pereira, General, 79 
Perkins, C.S.M., 76 
Peronne, 205, 241, 300 — 305 
Perrelle, Captain de la, 75 
Perrier, 2nd Lieut., 85 
Petillon, Rue, 55 — 56, 62, 71 
Petit Miraumont, 142, 156 
Petit Ritz, 52, 53 
Petkovo Valley, 263 
Pezieres, 305, 307 
Philipps, Captain the Hon. R. E., 

83, 84, 117 
Philipps, Captain, 12th Batt., 79 
Philipps, Major G. A., 254 
Piave, the, 228 

Pi card y, German offensive in, 231 
Pilgrim, 9th Batt., 129 
Pill-boxes, 179 and note, 80, 186 — 

188 
Piper, 2nd Lieut., 206 
Pipon, Captain, 61 
Pitt, Major William, 22 
Playfair, Lieut. -Col., 224 
Ploegsteert, 63 
Plough Support, 205 
Plumer, Sir Herbert, 188 
Plymouth, Jewish camp, 26 
Poelcapelle, battle of, 197 — 199 
Poelcapelle-Spriet road, 200 
Polderhok Ridge-Cameron House, 

316 
Police, Metropolitan, at Houns- 

low, 5—8 
Polygon Wood, 187 — 188, 193 — 

195 
Pommiers Redoubt, 114 
Pommiers Trench, 114 
Pont du Hem, 51, 54 
Pont Logy, 56 " 
Poperinghe, 70 
Poplar Trench, 307 
" Port Arthur" Trench line, 65, 66 
Pozieres, 118 — 119 
Pozieres, Ridge, 125 — 129 
Premesques, 55 
Pretty, Major, 246 
Preux au Bois, 334 
Price, 2nd Lieut., 119 



Priez Farm, 302 

Princes Street, Delville Wood, 122 
Proctor, 2nd Lieut., 117 
Proville-Mt. St. CEuvre road, 318 
Public Schools and Universities 

Force (U.P.S.), 14—16 
Pudsey Support Trench, 227 
Puisieux, 289 
Pulman, Captain, 65 — 66 
Pye, Sergeant, 132 
Pys, 154, 245 



Quadrilateral, the, on the An- 

cre, 147 
Quarries, the, 81 
Queen's Cross, 205 
Queen's Westminsters, Tadpole 

Copse, 209 ; Sambre, 331 
Quesnes, Rue du, 71 
Quesnoy, Bois de, 313 
Quessy, 234, 235 
Quevy le Petit, 336 
Quierzy, 245, 248 
Quinn, 2nd Lieut., 294 
Quinnell, Sergeant Charles, 128 
Quinton, 2nd Lieut. F. J., 295 



Ramoth Gilead, 27 
Randall, Lieut., 167 
Range Wood, 315 
Ration Trench, 125 — 128 
Rat's Tail Trench, 216 — 217 
Rattigan, Captain, 148 
Rawlins, 9th Batt., 117 
Rawlinson, Sir Henry, Director of 

Recruiting, 9 — 12 ; praise for 

the nth Batt., 302 
Rawson, Lieut., 119 
Raymond, Major H. E., 15 
Reed, 2nd Lieut., 8th Batt., 208 
Reed, 2nd Lieut. R. W., 1st Batt., 

322 
Rees, 2nd Lieut. E. M., 322 
Reeve, Lieut. H., 212 
Riamont, Bois de, 166 
Riamont, Cite de, 166 
Ribecourt, 211, 232, 313 
Rice, Lieut. -Col., 163 
Riches, 2nd Lieut. H. J., 146 
Richmond Copse, 319 
Richmond, Lieut., 121 
Riencourt, 300 
Rieux, 322 

Rifle Brigade, the, 55, 226 
Righton, Lieut. R. H., 313 
Rishon Wine Cellars, 28 
Riviera, the, 268 



INDEX 



429 



Robersart-Englefontaine road, 329 

Roberts, Colonel, 79 

Roberts, Lord, inspects the 10th 

Battalion, 10 
Robertson, Lance-Corpl. C. G., 10, 

222 — 223 
Robertson, Lieut. -Col. J. C, 9 
Robertson, 2nd Lieut. B. D., 283 
Robertson-Walker, Captain, 117 
Robinson, Captain, 25th Batt., 

278 
Robinson, Lieut. T., 26th Batt., 

327 

Robinson, Lieut. -Col. H. A., 26th 
Batt., 136, 327 

Robinson, Major, 32nd Batt., 1S6 

Rocquigny, 231, 240, 244 

Rocquigny-Bus road, 239 

Roeux, 171 — 172 

Roffey Camp, 17 

Roger, C.S.M., 170 

Rogers, Lieut., 75 

Rolfe, C.S.M., 188 

Rollecourt, Bois de, 165 

Romani, 28 

Rombies, 330 

Ronssoy, 308 — 309 

Roozebeek, the, 178 

Roscoe, Captain R. L., 153 

Ross, 2nd Lieut., 286 

Rothschild, Major James de, 28 

Routley, Captain R. H. C, com- 
pliments the 4th Battalion, 57, 
58, 60 

Rouge-Maison Farm, 46 

Rouge Spur, 46, 49 

Rouse, Private Leigh, 128 

Rowland, 2nd Lieut. H. J., 222 

Rowlands, Captain, 331 

Royal Air Force, 21 

Royal Humane Society's award, 

Royal Irish Fusiliers, Rouge 
Maison, 49 ; Le Pilly, 52 — 53 

Royal Marine Light Infantry, 202 ; 
Bucquoy, 256 

Royal Naval Division, Gallipoli, 

105 
Royal Scots, 43, 56 ; Herlies, 53 
Royal West Kents, Broodseinde, 

196 ; Epehy, 308 
Royle, Captain, 290 
Royston, Sergeant, 122 
Rudy, Lance-Corpl. F., 140 
Rue d'Enfer, 51 
Rue du Bois, 63 
Rues Vertes, Les, 213 — 216 
Ruesnes, 327 — 328 
Ruesnes-Le Quesnoy road, 328 
Rufigi, the, 276 — 277 



Ruhungu, 274 

Rum Jar Corner, 161 

Rumball, 2nd Lieut. G. T. S., 258 

Rumegies, 325 

Rumilly, 318 

Rupel Pass, 263, 265 

Russia, battalions sent to, in June, 
1918..23 

Russian Jews for English batta- 
lions, 26 

Ryan, Martin, 22 

Ryan, Sergeant, nth Batt., 292 



Sackville Street, 144 

Saghir Dere (Gully Ravine), 96 

Sailly-Saillisel, 143 

St. Amand-Maulde road, 325 

St. Amand Aubert, 322 

St. Aubyn, 2nd Lieut., 148 

St. Eloi, 84— 8 5 , 175 

St. Genois, 326 

St. Jean, 70 

St. Julien, 69, 190 

St. Julien road, 72 

St. Louis, 326 

St. Mard, 49 

St. Nazaire, 49 

St. Omer, 183 

St. Quentin road, 234 

St. Quentin-Cambrai road, 312 

St. Remy Chaussee, 335 

St. Souplet, 325 

Salesches, 329 

Salonika, 261 — 268 

Salonika-Constantinople railway, 

267 
Salonika - Seres - Constantinople 

railway, 263 
Salt Lake, 106 

Sambre, battle of the, 330 — 336 
Sambre-Oise canal, 327 
Sampson, 2nd Lieut., 4th Batt., 43 
Sampson, 2nd Lieut. B. G., nth 

Batt., 153—154 
Samuel, Lieut. -Col. F., 28 
Sandall, 2nd Lieut. H. C. B., 223 
Sandes, Captain Colles, 155 
Sapignies, 297 — 298 
Sariguel, 262 
Sarrail, General, 262 
Sart Farm, 315 
Sauchy-Lestree, 312 
Saul, 2nd Lieut., 197 — 198 
Saunders, Lieut. -Col. S. E., 288 
Sausage Valley, 118 
Savage, Colonel, 25 
Savage, 2nd Lieut., 114 — 115 
Savernake Wood, 138 



430 



INDEX 



Saxons, 63 

Scabbard Trench, 171 

Scarpe, the, 230, 325 

Scarpe, second battle of the, 166 — 

174 
Scheldt Canal, 319 

Scheldt, the, 206; crossing, 314; 
advance to, 324 — 327 

Scholefield, Captain R. S., 3rd 
Batt., 80 

Scholefield, Lieut., 1st Batt., 55 

Schuber Farm, 191 

Scimitar Hill, 102 

Scoble, Sergeant, 176 

Scotland Yard, men from, for the 
10th Batt., 10 

Scots Fusiliers, the, 46, 52, 53, 60, 
61 

Scott, Colonel Lord Henry, 15 

Scott, General, congratulates the 
9th Batt., 84 

Scott, Lieut. -Col., 40th Batt., 28 

Scott, 2nd Lieut., 10th Batt., 223 

Scottish Horse, the, 334 

Scudmore, Lieut J. V., 86, 92 

Sealy, 2nd Lieut., 72 — 73 

Seaverns, Lieut. J., 71 

Sebourg, 330 

Sebourquiaux, 330, 335 

Second Anzac Division, Pozieres, 
125 — 126 

Second Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 
honours for, 8 ; at Gallipoli, 86 — 
101 ; Suvla, 101 — 108 ; opening 
of Somme battle, 109 — in ; 
Beaumont Hamel, 115; Combles 
area, 158 ; Gavrelle, 168 ; 
Ypres, August 16th, 188 — 189 ; 
Poelcapelle, 197 — 199 ; Noyelles 
205 — 207 ; Les Rues Vertes, 
213 — 216; the Picardy offen- 
sive 231 ; the Lys, 257 — 258 ; 
Mont de Merris, 281 ; a period 
of training, 284 ; the Lys, 294 ; 
Flanders advance, 315 — 317 ; 
north of Courtrai, 325 — 326 ; 
Ledeghem, 323 

Second Bedfordshires at Montau- 
ban, 114 — 115 

Second Buffs, 69 

Second East Surreys, 69 

Second Guards Division, prisoners, 
301 

Second Highland Infantry, the 
Ancre, 146, 147 ; Oppy Wood, 
169 — 170 

Second King's Royal Rifles, 237 

Second Leinsters, Neuve Chapelle, 
65 ; Festubert, 71 ; Guillemont, 

133 



Second Londons, Gommecourt, 
in — 112; Ginchy, 134; Flers, 
135. 137—138 ; Cojeul Switch 
Line, 161 ; Cavalry Farm, 173 ; 
Langemarck, 187 — 188 ; Pass- 
chendaele, 200 ; Tadpole Copse, 
209 ; Travesy, 233—235 ; 

Chauny, 245 ; Hangard area, 
259 — 260 ; Amiens, 287 — 288 ; 
Bullecourt, 292 — 293 ; Mari- 
court, 300, 301 ; Epehy, 305 — 
307 ; Villers-lez-Cagincourt, 312 ; 
Loison, 324 ; Sambre, 331 

Second Oxford and Bucks on the 
Ancre, 146, 166 

Second Royal Scots, 85 

Second Suffolk, Highland Ridge, 
233 ; March 22nd, 1918, 237 

Selle positions taken, 327 

Selle, the, 322, 325 

Selous, F. C, 21, 22 ; return to 
East Africa and death, 275 — 
276 

Senlis, 129 

Sensee, the, 168, 303 

Sensee Avenue, 293 

Serainvillers, 320 

Sergueux, 268 

Serre, 144, 289 

Serre defences, 154 

Servenay, 49 

Service Battalions of Royal Fusi- 
liers, movements, 6 — 7 

Seventeenth (Empire) Battalion, 
Royal Fusiliers, 13 — 14, 16, 17, 
21 ; Longueval Alley, 121 ; 
Delville Wood, 123 — 124 ; the 
Ancre, 146 — 147 ; Courcelette, 
157 ; Oppy, 166 ; Oppy Wood, 
170; Bourlon, 216 — 219; a Ger- 
man raid, 220 — 221 ; La Vac- 
querie, 239 240 ; retire March 
24th, 1918, 244 ; Ligny Thilloy, 
245 ; Miraumont, 246 — 247 ; 
Beaumont Hamel, 249 ; Aveluy 
Wood, 250 ; gas casualties, 291 ; 
Gomiecourt, 297 ; Mory, 298 ; 
advance of Sept. 3rd, 303 — 304 ; 
Lock 7.. 313; Noyelles, 314 — 
315 ; Army of Occupation, 336 

Seventh Battalion, Royal Fusi- 
liers, 9 ; drafts sent to Gallipoli, 
101 ; the Ancre, 147, 149 ; 
Boom Ravine, 154 ; and the 
German retreat, 157 ; north of 
Gavrelle, 166 — 167 ; Oppy, 
170 ; Passchendaele, 201-203 '• 
German attack on, 224 — 227 ; 
Cambrai, 230 ; on Highland 
Ridge, 231 — 233 ; March 22nd, 



INDEX 



43i 



1918..236; withdrawal, 238 — 
240 : Bus-Rocquigny road, 244 ; 
Courcelette, 247 ; Aveluy, 249 ; 
Albert, 249 — 250 ; Bucquoy, 
255 — 256 ; Mailly area, 283 ; 
praise from the G.O.C., 283 — 
284 ; battle of Bapaume, 289 — 
291 ; Thilloy, 300 ; Moeuvres, 
313 ; towards Cambrai, 318 ; 
Niergnies, 320 ; Offignies, 335 ; 
Montroeul Wood, 336 ; Nou- 
velles-Harveng road, 336 
Seventh East Surreys, 208 
Seventh Middlesex, Cojeul Switch 

Line, 161 
Seventh Norfolks, Cambrai, 211 
Seventh Northants, Guemappe, 

165 
Seventh Oxford and Bucks, 265 
Seventh Royal Sussex, Ovillers, 

116 ; Arras, 159 ; Noyelles, 208 ; 

Cambrai, 211 ; Amiens, 288 
Severn, monitor, 279 
Seward, Captain, 203 
Shaft Trench, 237 
Shafto, in Gallipoli, 91, 95, 96 
Shannon, 2nd Lieut, the Earl of, 

160, 164 
Shaw, Captain H. J., 1st Batt., 

62 
Shaw, Captain, 2nd Batt., 106 
Shaw, General, commanding 9th 

Brigade, 48 note 
Sheika River, 23 
Shell-trap Farm, 72 
Sherwood Trench, 131 
** Shield of David " badge, 28 
Shields, 2nd Lieut. H. H., 326 
Shoesmith, 2nd Lieut., 177 
Shoreham, 12 

Shorman, 2nd Lieut., 194 — 195 
Shrapnel Trench, 168 
Shrewsbury Wood, 183—185 
Sikhs at Rue Petillon, 62 
Silcox, Corpl., 130 
Simkins, Captain, 12th Batt., 180, 

185 
Sixteen Road, 154 
Sixteenth Battalion Royal Fusi- 
liers, 13 
Sixteenth Middlesex, 205 
Sixteenth West Yorks, Beaumont 

Hamel, in 
Sixth Buffs, Pozieres, 125 
Sixth Cavalry Brigade, Ypres, 58 
Sixth East Yorks Pioneers, 102 
Sixth Northants, Preux aux Bois, 

334 
Sixth Reserve Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers, 8 — 9, 13 



Sixth Royal Welch Fusiliers, 103 

Skene, Captain, 180 

Slavin, Frank, 20 

Sloan, Captain D., 312 

Smedley, 2nd Lieut., 241 — 242 

Smeliansky, M., 28 

Smith, Captain, 4th Batt., 307 

Smith, Colonel, 1st Londons, 161 

Smith, Lieut. E. C, 39 

Smith, Lieut. G. Murray, 80 

Smith, Lieut. -Col. H. A., 13th 
Batt., 255, 321 

Smith, Major, 17th Batt., 303 

Smith, Major A., 10th Batt., 162 

Smith, Private C, nth Batt., 
292 

Smith, 2nd Lieut. W. F., 10th 
Batt., 298 

Smith, 2nd Lieut. W. W., 9th 
Batt., 81 

Smith, Sergeant H. T., 75 

Smith-Dorrien Corps, 37 note. 

Smith-Dorrien, Sir Horace, com- 
pliments the Royal Fusiliers, 49, 
57 — 58 ; and the 4th Battalion, 
64 

Smuts, General, 272 

Snelling, 2nd Lieut., 201, 203 

Soko Nassai River, 271 — 272 

Solomon, Lieut. L. B., 258 

Somerville Wood, 225 

Somme battle, 109 — 151 

Somme line, withdrawal to, 241 

Somme Valley, characteristics, 286 

Sonnet Farm, 208 

Souchez, 165 

Souchez River, 165 — 166, 175 

Soupir, 49 — 50 

Sourd Farm, 202 

Sous St. Leger, 229 

South Africans, the, Delville 
Wood, 120 

South Miraumont Trench, 154, 

155. 157 
South Staffords, 303 
South West Borderers, 104 
Sparkes, 2nd Lieut., 4th Batt., 

120 
Sparks, 2nd Lieut. R. L., 2nd 

Batt., 207 
Spatovo, 265 

Spence, 2nd Lieut. B., 308 
Spencer, Captain, 315 
Spiers, 9th Batt., 117 
" Sportsman's Battalion " (23rd 

and 24th), 19 
Spottiswoode, Captain, 324 
Square Copse, 304 
Square Wood, 169 
Ssangeni, 272 



432 



INDEX 



Stanton, Colonel C. J., afterwards 

Brig. -Gen., 12, 78 
Steele, Lieut., 39, 46 
Steele, 2nd Lieut., 170 
Stephenson, Lieut. R., 150 
Stevens, Captain, in Suvla, 188 
Stevens, 9th Batt., 129 
Stevenson, Captain, 102 — 103 
Stewart, General, 271 
Stiles, 2nd Lieut. A., 125 
Stirling Castle Ridge, 316 
Stockingford, 86 
Stokes, 2nd Lieut. W. E., 282 
Stone, Captain Walter N., 216 — 

217 
Stonebanks, 2nd Lieut., 189 — 190 
Store, 271 
" Story of the Fourth Army," 292 

note. 
Street, 9th Batt., 117 
String Trench, 160 
Struma Hills, 262 — 263 
Stuart-Wortley, Lieut. -Col. J., 15 
Sturgis, Private, 192 — 193 
" Substitution Company," the, 8 
Suez, 108 

Suffolks, Delville Wood, 120 
Suikat, 104 

Sullivan, Corporal Arthur P., 23 
Sullivan, 2nd Lieut. A. G., 9th 

Batt., 137 
Sulman, Lieut. -Col., nth Batt., 

140, 141, 204 
Summit Trench, 293 
Support Copse, 301 
Sussex, the, 60 ; at Pozieres, 125 

— 126 
Sutton, Captain, 80 
Suvla battles, 101 — 105 ; the 

Great Flood, 105 — 108 
Swifte, Captain, 51, 52, in 
Switch Line, 158 
Switch Trench, 136 
Sword, Captain, 303, 315 
Svmonds, 2nd Lieut., 208 



Tadpole Copse, 208 — 209 

Taimer, Corporal, 62 

Taisnaires, 34 

Tandamuti, 278 — 279 

Tanks, 149, 208 ; first appear- 
ance, 135 

Tanner, Captain, 10th Batt., 224 

Tanner, Private, 1st Batt., 130 

Taranto, 268 

Tarleton, Sergeant E., 218 

Taverner, Private W. T., 114 

Taylor, Captain A. A. C, of the 
Dublins, 99 



Taylor, Lieut. F. M., 118 
Taylor, Lieut. P. C, 2nd Londons, 

137 
Taylor, Major, nth Batt., 11 
Taylor, 2nd Lieut. C. W, 17th 

Batt., 146 
Tchaikov, Anton, 28 
Tea Support Trench, 136 
Tea Trench, 133 
Tealby, Captain, 256 
Tekke, Cape, 90 
Tekke Hill, 90 
Tel Nimrin, 27 
Tel-el-Kebir, 28 
Telford, Captain W. T., 312 
Temple Gardens, 10 
Tenebrielen - Zandvoorde road, 

317 

Tenedos, 87 

Tenth (Stockbrokers') Battalion, 
Royal Fusiliers, 9 — 1 1 ; Loos, 77, 
82;Ovillers, 117 — 118; Pozieres, 
118 ; Avesnes, 149 — 151 ; Arras, 
159 ; Monchy, 162 — 163 ; Gav- 
relle, 167 — 169 ; Broodseinde, 
195 — 196; 8th March, 1918.. 
221 — 223 ; the Picardy offen- 
sive, 231 ; Gommecourt, 254 ; 
battle of Bapaume, 289 ; Achiet 
le Grand, 298 ; Favreuil, 299 ; 
Bilhen Chapel, 306 ; Hurtbise 
Farm, 320 — 321 ; Salesches, 
329 ; Beaurain, 332 

Tenth Cadet Battalion, 1 

Tenth City of London Regiment, 

14 
Tenth Essex, Poelcapelle, 199 

Tenth Loyal North Lancashires, 
119 

Tenth Queen's R. W. S. Regiment, 
Flers, 135 — 136; Courtrai-Bos- 
suyt Canal, 326 

Tergnier, 237 — 238 

Thiepval, 138 — 142, 247 

Thilloy, 300 

Third Army, readjustment of 
positions, 240 — 241 ; anoma- 
lies, 247 

Third Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, 
illness among, 64 ; Kemmel, 67; 
Gravenstafel, 68 — 70 ; Belle- 
warde Ridge, 72 — 73 ; Loos, 
79 — 80 ; drafts to Gallipoli, 
101 ; Salonika, 261 ; inspection 
by the King of Greece, 267 — 
268 ; the advance on Richmond 
Copse, 318 — 319 ; Selle, 325 ; 
Fontaine au Bois-Landrecies, 
334 — 335 ; Mont Couriers, 
336 



INDEX 



433 



Third Canadian Brigade, 69 
Third Essex, Bourlon, 218 
Third Infantry Brigade, 18 
Third Londons, arrival in France, 
64 — 65 ; east of Festubert, 71 ; 
Gallipoli, 104 ; Gommecourt, 
in — 112; Neuville Vitasse, 
161 ; Bullecourt, 174 ; Lange- 
marck, 188 ; Menin Road Ridge, 
190 ; Cameron House, 200 ; 
Fargniers, 234 ; Tergnier, 237 ; 
Noreuil, 243 ; Chauny, 245 ; 
Hangard Wood, 259 — 260 ; 
Amiens, 287 — 288 ; Maricourt, 
301 ; Epehy, 305 ; Pezieres, 
307 — 308 ; Loison, 324 
Third Middlesex, 70 
Third Prussian Guard, 174 
Third Rifle Brigade, Sherwood 
Trench, 131 ; Guillemont, 132 
— 1 33 I Dammstrasse, 178 ; 
Ypres, 184 ; Chaulnes, 251 ; 
Sambre, 332 
Thirteenth Battalion, Royal Fusi- 
liers, 12 — 13; Ovillers, 115; 
Ancre, 149 — 150 ; Arras, 159 ; 
Monchy le Preux, 161 — 163 ; 
Gavrelle, 167 — 169 ; Menin 
road area, 194 ; Broodseinde, 
195 — 196; 8th March, 1918.. 
221 — 222 ; the Picardy offen- 
sive, 231 ; Bucquoy, 254 — 255 ; 
battle of Bapaume, 289 ; Achiet 
le Grand, 297 ; Hermies, 303 — 
304 ; battle of Epehy, 306 ; 
Hurtebise Farm, 320 — 321 ; 
Caudry, 321 — 322 ; Salesches, 
329 ; Mormal Forest, 332 — 333 
Thirteenth King's, Bremen Re- 
doubt, 194 ; Arras, 252 ; Foren- 
ville, 320 
Thirteenth King's Liverpools, 
Monchy, 172; Pudsey Support, 
227; Ribecourt, 133. 
Thirteenth King's R. R. Corps, 
Ancre, 149 ; Lewis House, 196 ; 
Menin road, 321 — 323 ; Fav- 
reuil, 299 — 300 ; Louvignies, 

33 2 - 
Thirteenth Rifle Brigade, Pozieres, 

118 ; the Ancre, 149 ; Gavrelle, 

169 

Thirteenth Royal Highlanders, 334 

Thirtieth Battalion Royal Fusi- 
liers, 21, 23 

Thirty-eighth Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers, 26 — 28 

Thirty-ninth Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers, 26 — 28 

Thirty-second Battalion Royal 

R.F. 



Fusiliers, Flers, 135 — 137 ; 
Bayonet Trench, 143 ; St. Eloi, 
175 — 176; Ypres, 185 — 186, 
191 ; Italy, 227 — 229 ; dis- 
banded, 229 
Thoday, 2nd Lieut., 165 
Thomas, Captain, 238 
Thompson, Captain R. H. V.. nth 

Batt., 138 
Thompson, Lance-Corpl. J., 12th 

Batt., 226 
Thompson, Mr., afterwards Cap- 
tain, 14 — 15, 15 note. 
Thornton, Lieut., 75 
Thornton, 9th Batt., 129 
Tidworth Camp, 17 
Tiffany, 2nd Lieut., 132 
Tilloy,' 160 
Times, The, letter of " Eight 

Unattached," 14 
Timgrad, transport, 268 
Toller, Captain, 119 
Tombelle Wood, 235 
Tothill, 2nd Lieut., 85 
Tottenham, Captain, 92 
Tottenham Post, 305 
Tovey, Lance-Corpl., 139 
Tower Ditch, 10 
Tower Hamlets Spur, 191 
Tower, Lieut. (" Kingy "}, 4th 

Batt., 40, 46 
Town, Corporal, 166 
Townshend, 2nd Lieut. M. A., 203 
Transloy-Loupart line, 158 
Trasenster, Major, 325 
Travecy, 233 — 234 
Travellers' Club, 9 
Trench mortars, 76 
Trescault, 238, 306 
Triangle, the, crater seized, 83 
Tricker, 2nd Lieut., 202 
Tri volet, 51 
Troisville, 43 
Trones Wood, 118, 131 
Tuck, 2nd Lieut. H. M., 327 
Tuersley, Sergeant, 62 
Tuite, Lieut.-Col. H. M., 243 — 

244 
Tulo, 275 
Tupolova, 267 
Tureka, 262, 266 
Turiani, 274 

Turks, collapse of Fourth Army, 
27 ; fight at Gallipoli, 88— 108 
Turner, Mr. S. C, 12 
Tuscania, S.S., 9 
Twelfth Battalion Royal Fusi- 
liers, 12; Loos, 77 — 79; Guille- 
mont, 131, 133; raids, 153 ; Gu6- 
mappe, 165 ; Oostaverne, 177 — 

F F 



434 



INDEX 



178; Battle Wood, 179 — 181 ; 
mishaps to the, 180 — 181 ; 
Ypres, 183 — 185 ; Vadencourt, 
225 — 226 ; disbanded, 229 

Twelfth Middlesex, Trones Wood, 
118 

Twelfth Norfolks, the Lys, 294 

Twelfth West Yorks, Guemappe, 
165 ; Bullecourt, 209 ; Pudsey 
support trench, 227 

Twentieth Battalion Royal Fusi- 
liers, 14 — 17; Bazentin, 119; 
Guillemont, 132 — 133 ; Morval, 
144 ; Monchy le Preux, 163 ; 
Heninel, 166 ; Fontaine les 
Croisilles, 168 ; Ypres, July 31st, 
1917...182; disbanded, 229 

Twentieth Durham Light Infantry, 
Ypres, 192 

Twentieth Londons, 26 

Twenty-fifth Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers, 21 — 22 ; East Africa, 
269 — 280 

Twenty-first Battalion, 14 — 16 

Twenty-first King's R.R., Flers, 

135 

Twenty-fourth Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers (Second Sportsman's), 
16, 19 — 21; Delvillc, 124; the 
Ancre, 145 — 147 ; Monchy le 
Preux, 163 — 164 ; Oppy Wood, 
169 — 170; Bourlon, 218; Bert- 
incourt-Velu road, 240 ; Ligny, 
244 — 245 ; Hamel, 246 ; Le Sars; 
247 ; Beaumont Hamel, 249 , 
Aveluy Wood, 250 ; Mesnil, 255 ; 
Gomiecourt, 296 ; Behagnies, 
298 — 299 ; Moeuvres, 306 ; 
Rumilly, 318; Vertain, 327; 
Army of Occupation, 336 

Twenty-Second Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers (Kensington), 17 — 19 ; 
Delville Wood, 123 — 124 ; 
Ancre, 147; raids, 153; Boom 
Ravine, 156 — 157 ; Irles, 158 ; 
Oppy Wood, 170; Bourlon, 
218 ; disbanded, 229 

Twenty-seventh Reserve Batta- 
lion Royal Fusiliers, 17, 23 

Twenty - seventh Wurtemberg 
Division, 284 — 285 

Twenty-sixth Battalion Royal 
Fusiliers (Bankers), 22 — 23 ; 
Flers, 135 — 137 ; attack, Oct. 
7th, 1915...143 — 144 ; raids, 152 
—153; St. Eloi, 175—176; 
Battle Wood, 183 ; Ypres, 191 — 
192 ; Italy, 227 — 229 ; Ytres, 
243 ; Achiet le Grand, 245 ; 
Kemmel Hill, 295 — 296 ; Ypres 



area, 317 ; north-east of Menin, 
323 ; Courtrai-Bossuyt Canal, 
326 — 327 ; Army of Occupation, 
336 

Twenty-third Battalion, Royal 
Fusiliers (First Sportsman's), 
19 — 21 ; Delville Wood, 121 — 
124 ; the Ancre, 147 ; Boom 
Ravine, 156 — 157 ; Irles, 158 ; 
Monchy lc Preux, 163 ; Oppy, 
170 ; Bourlon, 218 ; Le Trans- 
loy, 244, 246 ; Eaucourt l'Ab- 
baye, 247 ; Beaumont Hamel, 
248 — 249 ; battle of Bapaume, 
289, 291 ; Gomiecourt, 296; 
Sapignies, 297 ; Doignies, 304 ; 
Mt. St. CEuvre, 318 ; Foren- 
ville, 320 ; Ruesnes, 327 — 328 ; 
Army of Occupation, 336 

Twiddy, 9th Battalion, 117 

Twigg, 2nd Lieut., 307 

Tyler, Lieut. P. E., 329 



" U.P.S.," 14—16 

Udall, Sergeant, 254 

Uganda railway, 269 

Uluguru, 275 

Umm-esh-Shert, 27 

United States, recruits from, 8 ; 

Jewish recruits, 26 — 27 
Uphill, 2nd Lieut. R. W., 236 
Usher, Lieut. A. N., 300, 332 



" V " beach, landing on, 92 — 93, 

100 
Vadencourt, 225 
Vailly, 46, 48 — 49 
Valenciennes, 327, 330 
Van der Weyden, Lieut. H., 317 
Van De venter, 271 — 272 
Van Grierson, Lieut. W., 130 
Van Someren, Lieut. -Col. W. V. 

L., 207 note. 
Vardar Valley, 262 
Varesnes, 248 
Vauciennes, 44, 45 note. 
Vaulx-Vraucourt, 243, 303 
Vaumoise, 45 note. 
Veldhoek, 316 
Velu Wood, 240 
Vendelles, 226, 235 — 236 
Vendhuile, 210, 315, 318 — 319 
Ventimiglia, 227 
Ventres, Captain, 178 
Vere-Smith, 9th Batt., 117 
Verlorenhoek road, 70 
Vermand, 44 



INDEX 



435 



Vermelles, 77 

Vert, Bois du, 168 

"Vertain, 327 

Very pistols, 63 

Veuilly, 46 

Vic, 45 note. 

Vickers, 2nd Lieut. G. E., 255 

Victoria Nyanza, 269 

"Vieil Arcy, 49 

Vieille Chapelle, 51, 57, 65 

Vieux Berquin-Outtersterne line, 

257—258, 294 
Villereau-Berlaimont road, 333 
Villers, 244 

Villers-aux-Erables, 251 
Villers-Bretonneux, 259 
Villers-Cotterets, 44 
Villers-en-Cauchies, 322 
Villers-lez-Cagincourt, 312 
Villers-Plouich, 216 
Villiers-Stuart, Major, 265 
Vimy, 324 
Vimy Ridge, 18 
Vinnik, Mr., 28 
Vivier Mill, 292 
Vlamertinghe-Poperinghe, 70 
Voeul, 237 
Voi, 270 

Von Bulow, army orders, 34, 41 
Von Kluck, report on Mons, 31, 

41 and note. 
Von Lettow, 280 
Vraisne, 241 
Vrely, 251 



*' W" Beach, Gallipoli, 93, 102, 
108 

Waby, Lieut. A. J., 184 

Waddell, Captain, 79 

Wade, 2nd Lieut. L. F., 292 

Wagon Road, 146 

Wakefield, Sir Charles, 22 

Wales, Prince of, inspection at 
Senlis, 129 

Walker, Captain P. L. E., 255 — 
256 

Waller, Captain, 52, 56 

Wallis, 2nd Lieut. S. W., 236 

Wallwork, Lieut., 119 

Walsh, Captain, 123 

Wambeke road, 178 

Wami River, 274 

Wancourt, 164 

Wancourt Tower, 161 

Ward, Fred W., The Twenty- 
third Service Battalion, R.F., 20 
note. 

Warde, Lieut., 75 

Wardrop, Lieut., 83, 125 



Wargnies le Grand, 331 

Warlingham Camp, 13, 14 

" Warlingham Crater," 14 

Warneford, V.-C, 21 

Warren, Corporal, poem by, 127 

note. 
Wason, 2nd Lieut., 212 
Waterlot Farm, 128, 130 
Waters, Lieut. F. G., 17th Bivtt., 

3M 
Waters, Lieut. -Col., 10th Batt., 

223 — 224 
Wattenbach, Captain, 245 
Weather, influence of the, 29 — 30 
Webb-Bowen, in Gallipoli, 97 
Webster, 2nd Lieut. B. P., 154 
Weizmann, Dr., 26 
Wells, Captain, H. V., 2nd Batt., 

258 
Wells, 2nd Lieut. C. R., 7th Batt., 

201 — 203 
Welpem, 182 
Welch Fusiliers, 62 ; Delville 

Wood, 120 
Welsh Ridge, 224 
West Ridings, 59 — 60 
West, Sergeant, 7th Batt., 283 
Weston, Colonel, 240, 246 
Westoutre, 61 
Wevelghem, 324 
Whigham, Major, 239 
Whinney, Captain, 46 
Whip cross-roads, 169 
White City camp, 1 7 
White, Major, 25th Batt., 273 — 

274 
White, Major the Hon. R., 10th 

Batt., 9—12 

White Trench, 114 — 115 

Whitehead, Captain T., 195, 297, 

307. 321 
Whiteman, Captain O. C, 204 
Whitson, Corporal, 219 
Whittingham, Captain, 178 
Whyte, 2nd Lieut., 294 
Wijnberg, 324 
Willerval, 163 
Willett, 2nd Lieut. N. H„ 2nd 

Batt., 258 
Williams, General H. Bruce, 322 
Williams, 2nd Lieut. T. L., 203 
Willson, Lieut. W., 295 
Wilson, Captain J. V., 1st Batt., 

178 
Wilson, Captain P. N., 99 
Wilson, 2nd Lieut. F. J. A., 2nd 

Batt., 258 
Wilson, Sergeant, nth Batt., 

187 
Winslade, Lieut. S., 92 



436 



INDEX 



Winter, Lieut. -Col., 247 

VViransi, 276 

Wood Lane Trench, 133 

Wood, Lieut., 167 

Wood Post, 253 — 254 

Wood, Sergeant A. F., 24th Batt., 

218 
Woodcock, 2nd Lieut. C. W. N., 

299 
Woolfe, Captain, 267 
Worcester Trench, 133 
Worcester*, the, at Poelcapelle, 

198 
Wrenford, Major, 120 
Wright, Private T., nth Batt., 

204 
Wright, 2nd Lieut. G. B., 322 
Wulfdambeek, 323 
Wytschaete Ridge, 152 — 153 

" X " Beach, Gallipoli, 89 — 91 

" V " Beach, Gallipoli, 90—92 



Yellow Cross gas, 203 

Yenikoi, 267 

Yorks and Lancasters at Loos, 8* 

Yorkshire Bank, 304 

Ypres, 58 — 63 ; situation saved by 
the 4th Battalion, 64 ; second 
battle of, 68 — 70 ; July 31st, 
1917...182 — 186; August 1 6th, 
187 — 188 ; August 22nd, 189 — 
190 ; September 20th, 190 — 192 

Ypres-Menin road, 58, 186, 191 

Ypres-Roulers railway, 72, 193 

Ypres-Staden railway, 197 — 198 

Ypres-Thorout railway, 188 

Yser, the, 182 — 187 

Ytres, 243, 303 

Zion Mule Corps, 25 
Zionist Organisation, 26 
Zivi, Mr. Ben, 28 
Ziwani, 277 — 279 
Zonnebeke area, 193 — 194 
Zouaves, 59 



PRINTED IN GRKAT BRITMN QV THE WHJTEFRIAHS PRBSS LTD., LONDON ANB TONBRIPGy. 






5>7 

1!T 






THE LIBRARY 
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

Santa Barbara 


THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE 
STAMPED BELOW. 



NOTIS DEC 181996 

RETD DEC 02 1996215 



RED DEC 



n^gs;** 



Series 9482 




3 1205 01848 2834 




UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 






AA 000 297 370 9